Second-half goals from Pedro Obiang – via a huge deflection – and Andre Ayew secured a 2-0 win over the Terrier and West Ham’s first points of the season.
The build-up to the game was dominated by Bilic’s dispute with joint-owner Sullivan over West Ham’s dealings – or lack of them – on deadline day. Bilic had said Sullivan ‘likes to talk’ after the joint-owner, involved in a row with Sporting Lisbon over a failed move for William Carvalho, claimed the Croatian had turned down the chance to sign Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Krychowiak.
And the pressure was cranked up further on Monday with the news that Palace had axed Frank de Boer following their fourth consecutive defeat.
But Bilic insisted: “I never said a bad word about the chairman and I never will. Yes I said some things – at the end of the day I’m 49 – I said them, and I wasn’t drunk!
“I said nothing bad about the chairman, on the contrary I said we did good business, we wanted one more player and that the story from Sporting is not true as far as I know. I defended him.
“Was de Boer’s sacking on my mind? It was, I ain’t going to lie. I’ve been in football since I was 18, so I know.
“To be fair I came to the zone where I don’t care about that, but not in a negative way, I care about the team and that’s what I’ve been focused on. The other things are irrelevant.”