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Bilic urges West Ham to ride Wembley wave


London (AFP) – West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on Friday urged his players to use their morale-boosting League Cup victory against Tottenham to fire their Premier League campaign.

The Hammers, who sit just above the drop zone following last Friday’s dismal 3-0 home defeat to Brighton, travel to rock-bottom Crystal Palace on Saturday and Bilic knows they need a positive result at to dampen speculation about his future.

“I know our situation — our situation also determines my situation,” Bilic said.

“All that I can say is that it is a massively important game and we have to get some points after we lost against Brighton at home.

“There are rumours and all that but I talk to the chairman — not every day but often enough — and I know my situation and I know our situation.”

After being booed by their own supporters during the 3-0 defeat to the Seagulls at the London Stadium, Bilic’s men cheered fans by coming from two goals down to beat Tottenham 3-2 in the League Cup on Wednesday.

The Croatian wants his players to pick up where they left off at Wembley.

“We want to continue like that and we want to use that kind of win and that kind of self-confidence when we approach the game tomorrow,” added Bilic, who made nine changes to his side for the Spurs match.

“To come back from 2-0 down to 3-2, it gave us a lot of confidence. For the next game, it’s very important.

“We have a game of massive importance and we have to show the quality and the character and the thing that we showed a couple of days ago.”

While West Ham have endured a difficult start to the campaign, Palace’s situation is even more precarious following a return of just three points and two goals from nine league matches.

Bilic said it was difficult to recover from a slow start in the Premier League but feels the Eagles have made progress since Roy Hodgson replaced the sacked Frank de Boer as manager.

“The start is very important because the quality of the Premier League is so big, the quality of every club is so big and so huge that once you are in bad form or a crisis, it’s very difficult to come out of that,” Bilic added.

“They change their manager, they had a bad start and I watched the three games of them and they were pretty good. They beat Chelsea and they played well against Newcastle. They improved, to be fair.”

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