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Published: 15:04 | 9/5/16

Bilic: It's a massive game


Slaven Bilic wants his West Ham players to embrace the emotion of their final match at Upton Park to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.

Emotions are likely to be running high on Tuesday night when the Hammers say farewell to the Boleyn Ground when they host Manchester United.

Following the defeat to Swansea at the weekend, West Ham need a victory to maintain their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, while three points would see United move into the top four ahead of the final game of the season.

Bilic has urged his players to rise to the occasion and use the emotions to their advantage.

"It’s impossible to lose the emotion. Let’s say if the game didn’t mean a lot to us or to Manchester United, in the sense of this season, it would be big anyway because it’s the last game at Upton Park," Bilic told his pre-match press conference.

"But it means a lot to them and to us – both things have clicked, so it’s big, big. It can’t be bigger.

"If they beat us they are very close to fourth place and for us, if we want to secure a Europa League slot, we need to beat them. It’s massive.

"So the players would be emotional even if just one of those couple of things were involved. But there’s nothing wrong with being emotional."

Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Swansea was West Ham's first loss in the Premier League for 11 matches and they now find themselves seventh in the table, just one point ahead of Liverpool.

Bilic was critical of his players in the wake of the defeat and has called for an immediate response on Tuesday.

"Make no mistake, I'm crazy, I'm fuming, more angry than disappointed," Bilic said at his pre-match media conference.

"You are disappointed when you do everything and it doesn't work out for you but we didn't do what we had to do and that makes me more angry.

"It's important we play much better Tuesday night than we did against Swansea.

"I'm not talking about the finishing product because that depends on the day or your inspiration. I'm talking about the basic things which were missing.

"OK, you have to give credit to Swansea but for most of the games this season that we lost, it was because we were not doing those simple, basic things. We can't afford not to do those basics in any game but especially against Manchester United, who have the class and quality to kill you."


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