Slaven Bilic: I felt the pressure before West Ham beat Huddersfield
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 11/09/17 10:58pm
Slaven Bilic admitted he did feel under pressure before West Ham's 2-0 win over Huddersfield on Monday Night Football.
There had been speculation that Bilic's job was under threat after the Hammers lost their opening three games of the Premier League season.
But, in their first home game of the campaign, the Hammers offered a positive response as goals from Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew secured a much-needed win over Huddersfield.
"I am happy for the lads, I am happy for the whole club," Bilic told Sky Sports. "It was very important for us.
"We started with three away games, three defeats. It was a must-win game. I was pleased with the way we played. Even if we didn't win the game I could say nothing to the lads, they gave everything.
"We played good. It wasn't a nice performance but it was a top performance in all other stuff, in the second balls, in determination, in closing them down, in getting the corners and free-kicks and all that. We totally deserved it.
"I've felt the pressure for a whole year now, it didn't start today. Although for me it's not logical to be under pressure after three games only but it is modern football and of course I have felt the pressure.
"But we kept the calmness, we changed a little bit the shape of the team and we said to the guys that you're going to go back to basics."
After a positive start to the game, it looked like the Hammers were set to be frustrated until Obiang broke the deadlock with a fortuitous deflected strike after 72 minutes.
Ayew netted the second shortly afterwards and Bilic, who was celebrating his 49th birthday, was pleased to see his side open with a win in their second season at the London Stadium.
"I said last year that our performances in the second part of last season at home were improved and we played some really good games here," he commented. "We are feeling the stadium is now like our proper home. It will never be Upton Park, but it's becoming our home more and more.
"It's all about confidence. We have a quality team with quality players, some players are still missing but we have to keep the clean sheets to stop them from having the ball in dangerous areas to hurt us.
"It's my birthday and this is a great present."