Slaven Bilic has called on his West Ham United players to use their late 1-0 EFL Cup third round win over Accrington Stanley as a catalyst to kick start their season.
Dimitri Payet scored the type of free-kick which is quickly becoming his trade-mark in the sixth minute of stoppage time after a laboured display against fourth-tier opposition.
A late defeat was not what Accrington deserved, but Bilic saw enough in the Hammers’ display to suggest that his players can improve on their sluggish start to the campaign.
“The main thing is to go through and win this game,” he said. “To be honest, we expected an easier win, with the greatest respect.
“They are tough games and everything and they played a good game against Burnley, but when we play at home against a team from the fourth division, we expected not to do it in the last minute.
“It can [be a turning point],” he added. “I’ve seen, you’ve seen, those kind of things happen in football.
“All I’m saying is, we can’t lose the confidence, we have to be happy and come out in a positive way.”
Payet’s late winner sealed a fourth round tie at home to rivals Chelsea next month, but Bilic stressed that his side must concentrate on improving their form rather than the forthcoming London derby.
“I think it would be too arrogant from me to think about Chelsea now. I have bigger tasks to think about, that is how to prepare the team for a game against Southampton.
“Only if we do this in the next four or five weeks, are we going to get into a position where we can breathe.
“Normally, we play confident, play football we are capable of playing, then we can talk about it doesn’t matter to me if it’s Chelsea or someone else.”