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West Ham back under-fire Bilic as pressure mounts

London (AFP) – West Ham’s owners backed under-fire manager Slaven Bilic on Sunday insisting they have “100 percent faith” in him despite their slide towards the Premier League relegation zone.

Bilic’s side crashed to a dismal 2-1 defeat at lowly Hull on Saturday that extended their losing run to four matches and ramped up the pressure on the Croatian.

The Hammers are on a six-game winless streak that leaves them only six points above the relegation places with eight games left.

Amid reports claiming Bilic could be sacked, a statement from the West Ham board read: “To end speculation once and for all, the West Ham United board feel it necessary to announce that we have 100 percent faith in Slaven Bilic’s ability to lead West Ham United.

“Despite press speculation to the contrary, the manager’s position is not under threat. 

“The board know that Slaven and his coaching staff have the full backing of the playing squad and the overwhelming majority of supporters to lead West Ham United out of this difficult spell,” the statement continued.

“The board now urge all supporters to unite behind the manager, his staff and the squad as we go into some important games.”

It comes after Bilic warned his side they must stop conceding goals from set-pieces if they are to avoid a Premier League relegation fight.

Andy Carroll’s 50th Premier League goal gave West Ham a deserved half-time lead at Hull, but the home side hit back through Andrew Robertson and Andrea Ranocchia.

Asked on Saturday if he was confident he could turn the club’s fortunes round, Bilic said: “Of course. But we have to do that.

“It’s still very open. The guys below us are closing the gap and it’s up to us.

“We have a chance in every game, but nobody’s going to do that apart from us. We have to do it.”

West Ham are next in action on Wednesday when they face London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

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