Hull 2-1 West Ham: Slaven Bilic aware of speculation surrounding job as he bemoans set pieces conceded
By Dan Long
Last Updated: 01/04/17 9:15pm
Under-fire Slaven Bilic says he is "aware" of the pressure he is under as his West Ham side recorded a fourth straight Premier League defeat against Hull on Saturday.
Widespread reports this week claimed the Croat could be the next top-flight manager to face the chop after the Hammers' poor run of form, but vice-chairman Karren Brady later said the club would not be looking for Bilic's successor.
Speaking after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Hull, Bilic revealed he was "aware" of the speculation surrounding his job at the London Stadium.
Bilic said: "I can expect more [speculation] of course. But so what? I'm doing my job. I'm motivated and I think and I know that the game plan was really good today.
"We showed some good stuff in the first half, also after they equalised in the second half, but if we are making so many mistakes then we are paying the price."
20 - West Ham have lost more points from leading positions than any other Premier League side this season. Blown.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 1, 2017
Andy Carroll's 18th-minute opener put the impressive Hammers in the driving seat at half-time, before two second-half goals from Andy Robertson and Andrea Ranocchia completed the comeback for the struggling Tigers.
It was another goal conceded from a set-piece for the visitors, who now sit just six points outside the relegation zone, and Bilic knows that the safety net is in danger of slipping away if his side fail to stop the rot in the coming weeks.
"It is the set pieces, basically, that we are paying the price for," he said. "We conceded two against Leicester, one against Bournemouth and today we've conceded from set pieces which is no good.
"We are practising them and we did a lot of them yesterday on the training pitch, on the pitch and then talking about it also: how should we defend, how should we mark the players.
"It was all good until they equalised and after that they had a good five-minute spell but after that we came back, and it was more us and the game was played more in front of their goal.
"Then again, to concede a goal from a set piece, I think it's our fifth or sixth goal in the last few games that we have conceded. We are not marking the players and it is very hard to take - Ranocchia was basically in that position alone and we didn't mark him.
"They [Crystal Palace] are making ground on us, that's what I'm saying. Even before these four defeats it's still very open and there are many points to play for but they are closing the gap. With a point we would have kept Hull nine points behind us, now it's just six."