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Monday 20 November 2017

Bilic not worried by sack ahead of big Terriers test

West Ham v Huddersfield Live Sky Sports Premier Lge, 8.0

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic. Photo: PA
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic. Photo: PA

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has again shrugged off speculation that his job is on the line.

The Hammers host high-flying Huddersfield tonight desperate for a first win of the season to lift themselves off the foot of the Premier League.

Furthermore, Bilic's relationship with joint chairman David Sullivan has nosedived following a shambolic end to the transfer window.

But the Croatian insisted: "I've said many times that I don't think about my job like that.

"I think about it as a good job and where I have to put my energy is working and talking with the lads - trying to keep us down and humble when we win, motivate and be in the zone when we're not.

"Tonight is another game and I'm totally concentrated on it."

Bilic risked the wrath of Sullivan by criticising the club's failure to sign William Carvalho on deadline day, especially after selling a host of players to raise the cash to land the Sporting Lisbon midfielder.

He also took a swipe at Sullivan's habit of speaking through the media after the Hammers co-owner revealed on the club's website that Bilic had turned down the chance to sign Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Krychowiak. "I was so sure we would sign Carvalho. I was hoping until midnight on deadline day," he added.

"It was not promised, but very, very likely to happen. It was like deal done. This was a crucial position for us that we've been trying to get since I came here. It didn't happen.

"We offloaded many players just to raise funds for Carvalho. Everybody is talking about how much money we spent on Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito (Javier Hernandez).

"But in terms of last season we sold 11 players. Players like (Sofiane) Feghouli and (Ashley) Fletcher would be here. There are many things I am not happy about.

"But if I want to say something to the chairman I'm not going to talk through my lawyers - I don't have a lawyer - or the media. I'm expecting, if he says something about me, to call me."

Meanwhile, Huddersfield head coach David Wagner says English clubs are producing better young players than their counterparts in Germany.

The former Borussia Dortmund reserve-team boss Wagner insists top-quality youngsters are in abundance in England compared to his home country.

When asked if there was a problem with player development in the UK, Wagner said: "No. From my point of view, and I worked a long time in Germany, what I've seen so far is that here there is unbelievable talent and potential in players (aged) 19, 20, 21."

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