English Premiership

Bilic keen to beat Everton

2015-11-06 08:38
Slaven Bilic (Getty Images)

London - Slaven Bilic accepts West Ham's meeting with his former club Everton on Saturday will carry extra significance as he attempts to reignite his side's unexpected top four challenge.

Bilic spent part of his playing career in England with the Merseysiders but his priority now is to ensure the Hammers respond to last weekend's defeat at Watford that left them in sixth place, a point behind fourth place Manchester United.

"Is it a special game for me?" asked West Ham manager Bilic of the match against Everton at Upton Park.

"On one hand yes, on the other no. Every game is special for different reasons. Everton are a great side, big club with good players. It's a great test for us and I am looking forward to it, definitely yes."

The Hammers' 2-0 loss at Vicarage Road came on the back of impressive victories over Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Bilic said he was left perplexed by his side's display against Watford but insisted he knew what needed to be fixed when Everton visit east London.

"Our game against Watford was strange, not for the Premier League, but for us. We weren't near to our usual levels but overall we look dangerous too, we are scoring quite a lot," Bilic said.

"We lost at Watford, but we know why we lost and we can learn from that and make sure it doesn't happen again."

West Ham will again be without striker Diafra Sakho but Bilic has been lifted by the return to fitness of Enner Valencia, the Ecuador forward.

"Diafra Sakho is still out, it is nothing major, he did normal training on Thursday last week but then felt something in his thigh.

"Unfortunately it is a small tear and he is out for Saturday's game. He should be back for our first game after the international break.

"Enner is fit. We've got options at the moment. From a fitness perspective he is in a good way, he just needs to get his match fitness up. He is very close to being ready, but it depends which game that'll be."

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Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
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