English Premiership

Bilic on brink after dire Hammers performance

2017-10-21 06:44
Slaven Bilic (Gallo Images)

London - West Ham manager Slaven Bilic appeared resigned to his fate on Friday following his side's woeful performance in a 3-0 home defeat by Brighton.

Bilic, who just survived a tough period last season, said he assumed full responsibility for the hapless display which had home fans heading for the exits midway through the first-half.

"It's very hard for me to say anything clever now. I take full responsibility for it. I don't want to hide," the 49-year-old Croatian told Sky Sports.

"It is not a good situation and the board will do what they are going to do. It's their decision."

Bilic's fate rests with, amongst others, West Ham co-owner David Sullivan who had said before the match the former Croatian national coach would be at the club till the end of the season unless things were judged to be desperate.

A double from Glenn Murray had given Bilic's opposite number Chris Hughton plenty to smile about in his 100th Premier League match as a manager.

"I thought we were outstanding," Hughton told Sky Sports.

Murray's brace - taking his tally to five in seven meetings with the Hammers - and a delightful effort by Colombian international Jose Izquierdo gave Brighton their first away win of the season and the 'Seagulls' first in the top flight since 1983.

Murray silenced the home fans in the 10th minute heading home German playmaker Pascal Gross's perfectly delivered free-kick after the veteran striker easily shrugged off the attention of Pedro Obiang.

West Ham had very little to offer in attack and anything they conjured up was dealt with brilliantly by Brighton central defenders Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy.

Izquierdo made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time unleashing a stunning curling right-footed effort after a weak challenge by Obiang which Joe Hart got to a hand to but was unable to prevent going into the net.

Hart had done brilliantly to deny Murray seconds before that by blocking an effort from the striker when one-on-one.

The hosts showed little spark or urgency in the second-half save one effort from Manuel Lanzini that just drifted past the post but it was little surprise when the visitors went 3-0 up.

Murray had just been denied by Hart again, after superb work by Anthony Knockaert, but then made no mistake from the penalty spot after Pablo Zabaleta's clumsy challenge on the striker had been penalised.

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