LONDON – Under-fire West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said he will fight to keep his job, and that the speculation about his future has only strengthened his resolve.
The 49-year-old Croatian has been given two games to save his job, according to the British media, after a disappointing start to the season which reached a new low with a dire display in a 3-0 home defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion last Friday.
Bilic, who has guided his side to just five wins in their last 20 matches, has Wednesday’s trip to rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16 of the League Cup and Saturday’s clash at bottom side Crystal Palace to turn it around.
“You ask me about (Ronald) Koeman (sacked by Everton on Monday) – there are always three, four, five managers in those positions, and I’m definitely one of them,” Bilic told a press conference.
“Does it make me lose my focus? No, it gives you even more. I never gave up in my career, no matter in which way of life – as a parent, as a friend, as a manager.
“That’s my biggest strength, to be strong in hard times. Now I’m having a hard time, yes I am. That doesn’t scare me.”
Should Bilic lose his job he would become the fourth Premier League managerial casualty of the season, joining Crystal Palace’s Frank de Boer – sacked after just four matches – Craig Shakespeare, let go by Leicester City last week, and Koeman.