West Ham boss Slaven Bilic may be the one inflicting relegation woe on another manager next week when the Hammers go to rock-bottom Sunderland in a Premier League encounter that may drive another nail in the Black Cats’ top flight coffin.
Just days after escaping from the threat of being perilously close to the bottom three, Bilic’s side provide the opposition at the Stadium of Light against under-fire David Moyes’ outfit.
Bilic managed to motivate his side with enough inspiration to record a 1-0 win over Swansea City, themselves in the mire, on Saturday to chalk up a vital victory at the London Stadium, thanks to Cheikhou Kouyate’s strike.
The triumph meant West Ham moved six points clear of the visitors and now that the pressure is off, to an extent, they can to go to the North East and perhaps enjoy the fixture with a good deal of extra confidence. The same can’t be said, however, for the hosts.
David Moyes may well depart from the club come the conclusion of the campaign (regelation is all but a certainty) but the future looks a whole lot brighter for Slaven Bilic and his role as manager.
Leading up to the game against Paul Clement’s side, the Hammers had endured a torrid time (five straight league defeats and seven without victory) and some fans and pundits were questioning the continuation of Bilic in the job.
But, there were plaudits galore after the vital three points were secured. And former West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan was one who came out to back Bilic to steady the ship and make big strides in terms of progress for next season. Nolan dismisses talk of a change of head coach. And he cites the change of location for the Hammers as a key factor in their topsy-turvy season.
He said: “Slav is the man for the job. Changing stadium and training ground; that does affect you, it changes things. The stadium move has had a massive influence this season.
“The West Ham board are not ones to hire and fire, they do back their managers and I’m hopeful and quite positive that the two Davids will stick behind Slaven. I’m sure he’ll get them out of it and next year we’ll see a different animal in West Ham.”