Hammers boss not axed

LONDON • West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has been given a vote of confidence by co-owner David Sullivan following speculation that he was set for the sack.

Reports on Monday suggested Bilic was set for crisis talks with Sullivan and fellow owner David Gold following Saturday's humiliating 5-1 home defeat by Arsenal.

The loss left West Ham, who have won just three league matches this season, languishing one point above the relegation zone.

Bilic's post-match verdict on his players was damning, as the Croat accused some of them of lacking dedication in training. However, Sullivan made it clear the former West Ham defender will be given time to improve the situation.

"I saw Slaven's comments after the game and as always he was completely honest with his assessment," Sullivan told West Ham's website. "Slaven cares passionately about the football club and this defeat will be hurting him.

"I have no doubts that he is doing everything he can to address the situation and everyone is working together to ensure we turn our season around. We cannot forget the amazing job that Slaven did in his first season at the club."

The Hammers finished seventh last term but their defensive frailties have been exposed this season, as they have conceded 29 goals in 14 leagues games, with only bottom-dwellers Swansea City shipping more goals (31).

Bilic, however, has turned down an offer from former West Ham centre-back Rio Ferdinand to become his team's defensive coach, reported The Mirror.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline 'Hammers boss not axed'. Print Edition | Subscribe