Slaven Bilic hails West Ham performance in final Upton Park outing: ‘An amazing farewell to this amazing stadium’

11 May

A ‘proud’ Slaven Bilic hailed his West Ham players as they said farewell to Upton Park in style.

The Hammers edged Manchester United 3-2 in a five-goal thriller, Winston Reid netting the winner ten minutes from time.

After taking an early lead, the east Londoners went 2-1 down and they put on a show in front of a capacity crowd for one last time, netting twice in four minutes.

The Croatian told talkSPORT’s Ian Abrahams: “Brilliant!

“It was not an ordinary end-of-season game, not a normal game – even if you add to that with two games to go both teams are very interested in points.

“It was the last game at this stadium and – don’t get me wrong – I said to the players however it finished it would be a great season. But we didn’t want to lose or to not win in the last game in this  fantastic stadium.

“It’s not easy to do it and cope with that pressure but we didn’t control the emotions by just channelling them, we basically rode on them.

“We started well, scored a goal which always helps, we were a bit unlucky not to be two goals up.

“Second half they came back with class of course but we didn’t sink, we showed character, quality and we knew all the time we could hurt them.

“An amazing farewell to this amazing stadium. The guys really deserve to go down in history.”

After 112 years at their old east London home, West Ham gave themselves a fighting chance of playing European football at their new home next season.

He added: “Much more than a football match, it was history. Ex-players were there.

“You can say players are professional and have to cope but a lot of times you sink, but these guys showed amazing character, amazing spirit led by a captain, of course, who is a great captain. That’s why this is more than a football game.

“It was special, I am so proud of the players. It means a lot, it goes in history, it’s not just end of season, it’s not just beat Man United, it is the last game at this stadium.”


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