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Bilic blames 'perfect storm' for season of woe

Filed: Friday, 19th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

Slaven Bilic says that a combination of moving to Stratford and a string of injuries created the perfect storm for a season of discontent.

Speaking ahead of the final game of the season against Burnley at Turf Moor, the oft-criticised Hammers boss opened up with his reasons for West Ham's difficult season - which he squarely blamed on injuries, the stadium move and the loss of talisman Dimitri Payet.

"I have not wanted to talk about it in detail before because it could have been interpreted as excuses and I donít like making those," Bilic told the Evening Standard. "However, now we can talk about reasons - not excuses.

"First of all weíve had an unbelievable amount of injuries. 10 players out for a minimum of two-and-a-half months. Because of that we didnít start well and the new signings couldnít settle in the way we wanted.

"Add to that the move to the new stadium. You can see what has happened to other clubs who have done it and how it affects them before they can feel the benefit.

"And I havenít mentioned the Dimitri Payet situation, but we should not forget that we lost not only our best player but one of the best in Europe. People can be angry at him, but we should never forget how good he was for us.

"He is irreplaceable. At times this season at West Ham it has seemed like the perfect storm."

Bilic also revealed that planning for the 2017/18 campaign has already begun, with a meeting planned for early next week with the Board. "After this final game, we will try to improve the squad," he said. "We need quality, not so much quantity.

"A few players will go and some are not happy with the minutes they have played. We have to refresh our squad and improve our first XI. The injury situation also needs to be looked at and we will discuss all these things when I meet David Sullivan on Monday."

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