West Ham vs Stoke: Slaven Bilic admits Hammers were not good enough and didn't deserve win

Michail Antonio opened the scoring only for Bojan to equalise for the visitors

Samuel Lovett
At the London Stadium
Saturday 05 November 2016 19:56
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Bilic was disappointed not to build on their wins in October
Bilic was disappointed not to build on their wins in October

Slaven Bilic has admitted that his side were simply not good enough as West Ham were held to a 1-1 draw with Stoke at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was a subdued affair with both teams struggling to assert their authority in a match that saw few stand-out chances.

And speaking after Saturday’s game, the West Ham manager conceded that his side struggled to deliver in the match and were particularly underwhelming in the opening 45 minutes.

“First half, we were flat, simply not good [enough], not in the second, not when we had the ball and when they had the ball, so it wasn't good,” he said.

“In the second half we changed after 60 minutes, we put a couple of strikers up and they gave us energy, they gave us quality, they were running behind and we started to play much better.

“We scored a goal and then our best part of the game was between goals, from when we scored to when they equalised we looked good.

“I thought that 'okay, we know they're going to put the bodies up and all that, but that would give us space and situations to score another one', but then we gave away very, very cheap goal.

“At the end I have to say it was a fair result. We are disappointed because we were looking for a win especially after some good performances after we had in October. But unfortunately it wasn't to be.”

Antonio gives West Ham the lead

Michail Antonio put the home side ahead in the 65th minute after heading home Dimitri Payet’s well-placed delivery from the left flank.

The Hammers were only capable of holding their lead for 10 minutes, however. An opportunistic Bojan Krkic pounced on Jonathan Walters’ looping pass inside the West Ham box to level the score with 15 minutes to go.

Having enjoyed something of a revival throughout October, Bilic made it clear that he expected more from his players.

“No, look I was expecting from us to start better," he said.

“Since the last international break we were really in every game, up for it, we were good, we were sharp, we were organised when they didn't have the ball, we were closing the opponent down and that's why we got points against Sunderland, a win against Chelsea, against Palace, and also good performance against Everton.”

“And today it wasn’t that kind of performance, we didn't have a midweek game, we looked good in training, but we were flat.”

Dimitri Payet has an effort from a free kick

Despite his disappointment, the Croatian argued that the result had been a fair one nonetheless.

“It wasn't a particularly nice game of football, neither team had deserved to lose or to win, so in the end it was a fair result for both teams.”

But Stoke manager Mark Hughes suggested that his side should have walked away from Saturday’s game with all three points.

“Clearly as an away team if you do go behind in a game then you have to feel it's a positive result but maybe if we look back, maybe we possibly feel we merited the full three points - maybe a little bit greedy possibly.

“I thought in terms of the game and the way we played I thought we were very much in control of proceedings in terms of chances created and the team in ascendancy.

“Certainly after our equaliser I expected to be under a little bit of pressure but it’s fair to say the last ten or 15 mins I thought we looked the team more likely to get a winning goal.

“Initially a point is a good point always in the Premier League away from home. But maybe we are a little bit greedy and probably feel we deserved a little bit more.”

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