Slaven Bilic admits he is under pressure to save West Ham job ahead of Tottenham clash
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 24/10/17 7:37pm
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admits he is under pressure to save his job ahead of a crucial Carabao Cup clash against London rivals Tottenham at Wembley.
Sky sources reported earlier this week that the Croatian has two games to keep his position as manager after the team's poor start to the season - the game with Spurs and the Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace next weekend.
Bilic was under pressure last season but kept his job, yet the Hammers are 16th in the Premier League and only out of the relegation zone on goal difference after eight games.
But he said: "We have to stay focused, I have to lead the team and the group and I need to get us playing better immediately.
"I have a game tomorrow and that is all I am focused on. All I can do is stay focused on my next game or training session because that is the only way you can expect to turn things around.
"There are always three, four, five managers in those positions [under pressure] and I am definitely one of them.
"Does it make me lose my focus? No. I never gave up in my career or in any part of my life, as a player, as a parent, as a friend, as a manager. It's my biggest strength, to be strong in hard times.
"Now I am facing my hard time but it doesn't scare me."
Bilic says he still believes in his players, many of whom he brought to the club, despite a run of just one league win in their last five attempts.
"I will never lose the faith in the players, they are my players, they are my team," he added.
"With the newer players I was involved in their coming to the club and of course I rate them very highly. I must demand they play better but it is also a big part of my job to help them play better."
It's my biggest strength, to be strong in hard times. Now I am facing my hard time but it doesn't scare me.
As for what victory at Tottenham would mean to him, Bilic said: "A couple of calm days, at least in the press conferences! It would be good of course [to win and progress] but it is a different competition.
"A win against Spurs may not improve your league position, but, of course, to go through in the cup would give us back some confidence that we built over the last four or five weeks but damaged in the game against Brighton."
Watch Tottenham v West Ham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football at 7:30pm.