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Bilic fighting for his job as West Ham stare at end-of-season relegation battle

Date Posted,April 7, 2017

Slaven Bilic is fighting to save his job after a season of humiliation has left West Ham on the brink.

What began as a brave new world, with a move to the Olympic Stadium and an ambitious push for the Champions League , is heading towards relegation.

Under-pressure Bilic has been told by the West Ham hierarchy there will be no new contract offer – and his prospects would be even gloomier if they lose to fellow strugglers Swansea today.

The West Ham hierarchy have made themselves laughing stocks, with co-owner David Sullivan demanding improved performances – and then the club putting out a vote of confidence.

The Hammers have lost five in a row (Photo: Reuters)

Chief executive Karren Brady enraged fed-up West Ham fans by tweeting pictures of the cheeseboard in the Arsenal boardroom as Bilic’s men suffered their fifth straight defeat to leave them hovering above the relegation zone.

West Ham have upset players behind the scenes with cutbacks – such as match day parking spaces for family – while there has been a shake-up on training ground technology.

Bilic’s huge entourage of backroom staff has been questioned and, even though the former Hammers defender has another year left on his deal, there is a growing belief even if he survives the season then he will go in the summer.

Down the years, Sullivan and David Gold have been reluctant to sack managers and that remains the case with Bilic while the season is still in progress, but he fears the worst – and their patience would be tested by another defeat.

The Davids have been reluctant to sack managers (Photo: AFP)

West Ham look broken and a club in crisis, a team on their knees, desperately trying to find some hope and energy from somewhere.

The owners are looking at alternatives with Roberto Mancini among the contenders while sponsorship deals with bluechip companies like Vodafone could be scuppered by relegation.

Bilic admits that the goalposts were changed as soon as West Ham left Upton Park last summer – but he insists they can still save their season.

Bilic said: “OK the new stadium has changed the criteria, I get that. I have spoken about that as being a good thing for motivation, to have something to aim for going forward..

Bilic believes he can save West Ham’s season (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)

“The expectations are to make a big step up but suddenly we are in a situation where we need points. The expectations were it was going to go down in history as a great season, but it ain’t.

“It’s either going to go down as a negative season or just an OK season. But we’re not going down. I’ve seen bigger clubs in trouble and then when they stay up they celebrate like hell.”

Bilic admitted he fears for his team after the way they “crumbled” at Arsenal in midweek but says he has to take ultimate responsibility.

Bilic’s men went down at Arsenal last time out (Photo: Arfa Griffiths)

“We were solid, then we conceded a goal and then that happens. We are conceding too many goals. We are. We shouldn’t concede like this. We crumbled after the first goal,” said Bilic.

“We can find excuses, but it doesn’t matter. You are always going to find excuses but we are conceding way too many goals and we are working on that, we are talking, analysing, changing little things.

“We can talk about the defence, but this is my squad, my team, these are my players and I have to do it together with them.”

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