Tony Cottee: This is how West Ham should treat the Europa League

Former West Ham United striker Tony Cotte has told Slaven Bilic how he feels he should deal with the issue of playing in Europe.

Former West Ham United striker Tony Cottee told talkSPORT how he feels his former employers should approach the challenge of the Europa League this season.

West Ham’s season gets underway at the start of next month, after the club qualified for Europe after topping the Fair Play table in the Premier League last season.

Cottee doesn’t foresee any problems through the initial rounds, but has suggested the club’s new manager Slaven Bilic has a real challenge in terms of increasing the size of the squad.

“I think going into the Europa League you would expect them to get through the first couple of rounds without any problems. Just treat it as pre-season games, once you get into the later stages, they’re going to need a much bigger squad of 25-30 players,” he said.

The Premier League and English football is one of the most difficult leagues in the world because of the pressure and intensity which is placed over sides domestically.

Add into the equation, extra games on a Thursday night and it could be very difficult for the Hammers to prepare effectively for games the following Sunday.

However, European football is something that Bilic has experience in and he knows all about the Europa League in terms of juggling matches.

It boils down to a case of common sense. Bilic needs to be backed by West Ham’s board to increase the size of his squad and if he doesn’t, the results and performances of the side will suffer.

The positive thing as far as West Ham fans should be concerned is that this decision has made early and the new boss has plenty of time to work with the board over transfers before the serious action gets underway from August.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch