Bilic craves victory that he hopes will kick-start West Ham season

22 August 2017 04:09

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has called on his team to play "like it is the last game of our lives" and kick-start the season with a Carabao Cup win at League Two Cheltenham.

The Irons have lost both of their Premier League fixtures so far, going down first 4-0 to Manchester United and then 3-2 at Southampton, where they had fought back following the sending off of Marko Arnautovic only to concede a last-minute penalty.

Bilic, though, is confident his players can come through at Whaddon Road to give themselves the perfect tonic going into Saturday's trip to Newcastle ahead of the international break.

Bilic said at a press conference: "We need a win to get that boost, but it was a completely different feeling after the defeat at Manchester United and at Southampton, because there were a lot of positives on Saturday when we came back from 2-0 down with 10 men to equaliser. But of course we have zero points.

"If we do some changes it is because we have a good squad and okay, with a little bit of an eye towards the Newcastle game, but we will of course put a strong team out."

The Croatian added: "We are a Premier League side, we are all professionals, it is part of our job to feel the pressure, it is always there.

"We know it is going to be a difficult game, but it is up to us to make it less difficult with our performance.

"We know they will play almost like a cup final, but there is only one thing we have to do to stop that and it is to play the game like it is the last game of our lives.

"Only with that approach are we going to reduce their chances.

"Normally we have a better team, but the (team on) paper means nothing when the game starts.

"After a good performance against Southampton, now there is a platform for us before Newcastle to boost our confidence with a win, which means a lot in the club."

Bilic also confirmed he would still like to add another body before the transfer window closes, with Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho one reported target while Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass looks set for a loan move to Aston Vila.

"Like most of the clubs we are ready to do something both ways in case something good comes, so that is a maybe," he said.

Source: PA