Slaven Bilic refuses to blame London Stadium for West Ham's form
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 16/09/16 1:59pm
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is refusing to use the move to the London Stadium and the subsequent crowd trouble for their slow start to the season.
The Hammers lost 4-2 at home to Watford last weekend, having taken a 2-0 lead in the match, while a 1-0 defeat against Astra Giurgiu at their new home saw them knocked out of the Europa League.
Crowd trouble during the Watford game led to 10 supporters being ejected from the stadium, while the club has called a meeting with fans to discuss recent problems with standing in seating areas and anti-social behaviour.
But Bilic is not prepared to use that as a mitigating factor for some poor performances that leave West Ham just one place above the relegation places going into Saturday's game away to West Brom.
"I don't like excuses," he said. "I didn't notice [the crowd problems] until I was told after the game and it didn't affect my concentration during the game, so I'm sure that the players didn't notice it.
"That had nothing to do with the performance. Of course I would like [the crowd trouble] to be sorted out. We are playing football for the fans.
"The fans are the most important for the club. We want them to feel good and make them happy with our results and the club wants them to feel safe in our stadium."
Bilic is also unwilling to blame the standard of defending by his team, despite West Ham conceding seven goals min their last two matches.
"[The defending] wasn't good of course. It was a bit different than the game against Bournemouth at the same stage last season," added Bilic.
The fans are the most important for the club. We want them to feel good and make them happy with our results.
"Against Bournemouth it was more individual mistakes. The conclusion was the same, you lose confidence as a team. Now, the confidence is okay.
"We are a team, we defend together and I'm happy with that. We will work with that. It is very important to talk about it.
"We spoke about it before the Watford game. We've had a good meeting and now I'm waiting for the reaction tomorrow.
"Mistakes will happen but we have to defend better and defend like we did last season."