Slaven Bilic wants West Ham to wrap up European spot and stop him from becoming a Manchester United fan
Slaven Bilic is urging his West Ham side to wrap up a sixth-place finish – and save him from being a Manchester United fan.
The Hammers, currently sitting sixth, will be assured of a Europa League spot if they remain in the same position after the remaining four games of the campaign.
But should they drop down to seventh in the Premier League table, they will be reliant on United winning the FA Cup against Crystal Palace to hand them a spot in Europe, and Bilic does not want it to come to that.
Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to West Brom on Saturday, the Croatian said: “I would like to see them [United] win it, that would give us a bit of a cushion. But the good thing is everything is in our hands, and I’d rather us do it than wait until one week after the season with our red flags and be a Man United fan.
“The top six is a target and it has been a target for quite a while now. It wasn’t a target at the beginning of the season but with four games to go, we have a little bit of a gap but we can’t afford to lose games.
“It’s going to be hard, we have Liverpool and Southampton (behind us). But we are unbeaten in a long time, we have had a good run and we are fully motivated.
“If we continue to play like we have been playing, we have a good chance.”
The Hammers head to West Brom on Saturday to face a side who proved against Tottenham that they do not have one foot on the beach.
Tony Pulis’ side may be safely in mid-table but that did not stop them putting a spanner in Spurs’ title works by drawing 1-1 at White Hart Lane on Monday.
Bilic also remembers falling foul of a team with seemingly little to play for during his time as a defender with German side Karlsruhe.
“People talk West Brom that, West Brom this, but they are safe with a cigar,” he added.
“You talk about Newcastle and they are in trouble but West Brom have never been in trouble at all. That shows they have a good team and good mentality.
“The teams are playing for their pride, for their fans, for themselves sometimes. Once I played in Germany and we had to play the last game of the season and had to win it to get into Europe.
“It was a team like Aston Villa who had been relegated since March or April – and they beat us 5-1!
“Make no mistake, especially a Tony Pulis team and the English mentality and everything, we expect them to play at their maximum.”