Slaven Bilic explains why Allardyce can take West Ham to Champions League

Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic believes his former club West Ham CAN qualify for the Champions League.

West Ham's 3-1 win over Swansea City on Sunday took them into the top four, and with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all spluttering so far this season, there's serious hope in East London that the Hammers can attain a place in next season's Champions League.

Now, those hopes would have seemed like little more than pipedream if you'd said it in the summer, when West ham were coming off a 13th place finish with manager Sam Allardyce under increasing pressure.

Yet, rather than sack him, the West Ham board chose to back 'Big Sam' with a host of new signings over the summer, with the likes of Aaron Cresswell, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Song, Cheikhou Kouyate, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia arriving and playing a starring role so far.

One of the names linked with replacing Allardyce was ex-Hammers defender Slaven Bilic, but the Croatian stayed with Besiktas, and he now believes that Allardyce can lead West Ham to a shock top four finish.

"I hope so," said Bilic ahead of his side's clash with Tottenham on Thursday. "Still, there is a long way to go. But you can't talk about 'early days' today. There are enough games. They are also doing well at Southampton. I think one of them can make it."

"Especially because those clubs, they are improving a lot. West Ham were struggling last year, okay, but they were very good in the [summer] market, bought good players and kept good players. And it clicked."

"Big Sam knows the league like this, from Bolton and Blackburn. He was under pressure. But he got used to pressure. He never doubts himself. Because he has done it in past. It is a big advantage if you feel something like deja-vu - you have been there," added Bilic.

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