West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic watched the Hammers slump to defeat at Bournemouth and delivered a stark warning for his underachieving stars: You must improve.
And Bilic’s charges, who ran out 3-2 losers at the Vitality Stadium, have the opportunity to do exactly that when the Hammers take on Leicester City at the London Stadium in their next top flight game on Saturday.
Bilic, speaking to the club website, said he expected his side to be better when they were out of possession against the Cherries, who missed two penalties in a topsy-turvy affair on the south coast.
He said: “Every game gives you something to think about short-term, as well as long-term. Saturday’s game doesn’t change anything in terms of what we need for the summer. We have to improve, especially against the teams who are putting us under pressure – pressing and all that, because on the ball we look really good.”
Meanwhile, Bilic says he is excited that Andre Ayew is starting to show decent form and expects him to flourish as the season enters a period of concluding games.
Ghana star Ayew has endured a frustrating season at West Ham but has scored in successive away games. And the manager says he wants to see more goals to boost his side’s top flight standing.
Bilic added: “Andre had a couple of major things which happened to him, which affected his season so far. He had a massive injury in the first game of the season, then when he came back it was a little bit too early, so he was searching for fitness and form.
“Then he went to the Africa Cup of Nations and now he looks really good. That’s the reason we bought him – he has that sense to be in the right place at the right time. That’s a big quality for the strikers to be in a good position, so now he’s back in good shape and of course we expect him to improve us.”
*West Ham have put a price freeze on season tickets for their second campaign at London Stadium. The Hammers have an existing 52,000 season-ticket holders, and a waiting list of 55,000.
The cheapest adult season ticket was £289 and season tickets for under-16s were £99. Those prices remain the same for holders who renew for next season.