English Premiership

Bilic praises second-half response

2016-08-29 13:42
Slaven Bilic (Getty Images)

Cape Town - West Ham manager Slaven Bilic praised the response from his players after going two goals down early on in their 3-1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday.

Raheem Sterling netted after just seven minutes with Fernandinho on target 10 minutes later in what was a very one-sided opening 45 minutes.

But a much-improved West Ham emerged after the half-time break, and clawed their way back into the game when Michail Antonio hit the target on the hour mark, although Sterling was able to add a second for himself in the dying second of the tie.

After the match, Bilic told the club's website: "You can break it down to two halves of football. They were much better than us in the first half. They started very well, and not only did they show the quality on the ball which we knew but they were quicker, more aggressive than us and better on the second balls.

"We gave them way too much space and time on the ball and of course they have plenty of class.

"In the second half it changed and of course the goal helped. We put them under a little bit of pressure. They had their chances too, because we were open, but in the second half I was more than happy.

"At half time, I wasn't happy, but I asked the guys to show the character, the spirit, the attitude and mentality which they basically did in the second half.

"I have praise for the team for the second half performance. It's a shame that we conceded the late goal, but it was a good second half as I said. The first wasn't."

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