Slaven Bilic exclusive interview on West Ham's players and William Carvalho frustration
Last Updated: 11/09/17 7:58pm
Slaven Bilic has denied the suggestion he is too nice to drag West Ham out of their losing run and up the Premier League table.
West Ham have lost their opening three Premier League matches of the season and the Croat held a heart-to-heart meeting with his players following the 3-0 defeat to Newcastle last time out.
And ahead of their first home game of the season - against Huddersfield on Monday Night Football - he insisted he is tough with his players when he needs to be.
"I don't see myself as an especially nice guy," he told Soccer Saturday when it was suggested few people in football have a bad word to say about him.
"I also can lose my temper and I was doing that very recently - or last season. When I feel it's needed, I do that.
"I think I have it [a fear factor]. I am motivated, I am hungry and the lads know if they don't perform they ain't going to play and that is the biggest punishment for them.
"You can't say that no matter how the players are playing that they are playing. That's not the case. A lot of players, if they don't perform well, they are losing their place in the team.
"That has always been and is always going to be the biggest punishment for the players.
"I'm demanding a lot from the players. I don't want them to be afraid, of course, I want them to stay confident. I don't see that as a problem.
"If, for you, being hard or being a rocket means I am going to slag the players here in front of the cameras then I'm definitely not one of them - but then, I don't know who is like that in football nowadays - and I don't want to be like that."
Bilic also admitted he was frustrated to miss out on the signing of Sporting Lisbon's defensive midfielder William Carvalho before the transfer deadline.
He says he offloaded a number of players to raise funds to sign both Carvalho and Andre Gomes from Barcelona and is frustrated his squad now lacks depth as a result.
"I think with Carvalho it was a money issue," he added.
"I really wanted the player and it really looked like it was going to happen. I thought until the last minute that he was going to come. Why am I disappointed? I'm disappointed because we've been looking at that position for two years.
"For that crucial position for us he was ideal and it didn't happen.
"One of the reasons we were offloading so many players was to raise the funds to get the budget for him and then when it didn't happen you are frustrated. For me, if we tried everything that's all we could have done."
He added: "I wanted Carvalho. We all did. We are a bit thin and I took that risk deliberately.
"It wasn't only Carvalho, it was also Andre Gomes, who also looked done.
"It's a question of injuries now. If we stay away from injuries we have enough players - and now, to be fair, we don't have many injuries so we are okay in every department."
West Ham chairman David Sullivan recently made headlines when he suggested that Bilic turned down both Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Krychowiak this summer.
But the West Ham boss insists he still has a healthy relationship with the club's owners.
"The fact is I have my relationships with the chairman for two-and-a-half years almost now and it's been good since the first day of that season," he said.
"We don't talk a lot, but we are in contact and communicate through emails. Usually we talk after every game.
"He is very polite because he leaves you the day after the game and then you talk a couple of days after. Maybe that's because he wants to gather more information?
"It's fine. It was always polite, always decent. When I don't like something I tell him straight and it's been fine so far, to be fair."
Tune in to West Ham v Huddersfield on Monday Night Football from 7pm on Sky Sports Premier League.
Play Super 6
Simply predict six correct scores to win the £250k jackpot. Enter your selections for free here.