Monday 26 September 2016 09:50, UK
Slaven Bilic has told his under-performing West Ham players they have run out of "credit" as their worrying start to the new season continued with a comprehensive home defeat to Southampton.
The Hammers were condemned to their fifth Premier League defeat of the new campaign on Sunday as Southampton strolled to a 3-0 victory at London Stadium thanks to goals from Charlie Austin, Dusan Tadic and James Ward-Prowse.
Despite adding 13 new faces to his squad this summer, Bilic's starting line-up is largely the one which challenged for a place in the top four last season, eventually finishing in seventh and earning qualification for the Europa League.
However, his side were knocked out of Europe by Romanian champions Astra Giurgu in August and have since suffered their worst opening to a season since 2002/03, when they were relegated under then-manager Glenn Roeder.
Bilic said: "We are not the first or the last team who has been in this situation in the Premier League and most of it is about confidence, but the club has the same players and the same manager who did good things last year.
"I told the players after we lost to West Brom that there is no need to panic, the credit was there for a lot of them. But now that credit is gone."
Defeat to the Saints also made it four straight defeats for West Ham, who have conceded 11 goals in their last three matches and currently sit in 18th spot.
West Ham welcome newly-promoted Middlesbrough to London Stadium on Saturday before the international break.