Slaven Bilic expected West Ham axe to fall after heavy Liverpool defeat
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 06/11/17 12:26pm
Slaven Bilic admits he expected to be sacked after confirmation on Monday that West Ham are looking for a new manager.
Bilic was fired on Monday morning, less than 24 hours after his side fell into the Premier League's bottom three thanks to Everton's 3-2 win over Watford.
A day earlier, the Hammers had suffered their sixth league defeat of the season, going down 4-1 to Liverpool at the London Stadium to pile the pressure on the Croat, who had joined the club as manager in June 2015.
Bilic had been heavily backed in the transfer market last summer, bringing in high-profile signings like Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
But results failed to pick up sufficiently after a slow start to the season, the Hammers being forced to play away from home while the London Stadium was being turned back into a football venue after hosting the World Athletics Championships.
And, after Monday's decision, owners David Gold and David Sullivan now have to turn their attentions to a replacement for Bilic, with former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes the front-runner to take over.
Speaking on his way out of the club's Rush Green training base, Bilic said: "I am sad and disappointed but not in the club, I expected it to be fair.
"There are no hard feelings. I am going to be, especially when some time goes by, very proud of my work here.
"We didn't start this crucial season well. We had a really good, or great, or very good first season, then the second season we knew was going to be a difficult one in a transition to move to the new stadium and all the difficulties we had.
"We coped with that at the end really good, finished middle of the table, but then this season we hoped we could make that step from the start and we just didn't make it - as in many clubs in the Premier League and across Europe the manager is the one who pays the price.
"You are always hoping, and you believe in yourself, that you can turn it around and do it, but that doesn't mean I don't understand the move the club has made. It is a very logical move.
"The fans were brilliant with me from the start until the very end, and I really felt it. It's not just words. For me, this was more than a job, it was personal because of my relationship with the club, one I played for.
"They came here for my first game, a team from Andorra, and made a full house. You have to respect that and nothing will change that memory for me."