Slaven Bilic explains his absence from West Ham dugout

West Ham United defeated Lusitanos 3-0 in a Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

Newly-appointed West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has told the club’s official website why he was not present in the dugout for Thursday evening’s clash against FC Lusitans.

The Croatian did not take charge of the Hammers’ team for the first leg of their Europa League first-round qualifier against the Andorran side at the Boleyn Ground.

Bilic was presented to the home fans before the game, but he watched the encounter from the stands.

Academy manager Terry Westley took side of the team, having trained the squad for the past few weeks and knowing the Under-21s involved well.

“I was thinking about the best way to manage the game and the training camp we have in Ireland,” Bilic told West Ham’s official website.

“I didn’t want to disrespect anyone and especially not a football team from Andorra as I respect them big time.

“But I respect Terry and I respect West Ham so I wanted to show respect to Terry as he coached this team and he took them for pre-season in Ireland and knew them all well.

“I didn’t want to be disrespectful to him. Also the majority of the first team is in Ireland so that was behind our decision to do it like this.”

West Ham did not face any problem in getting the better of Andorran team 3-0 at home.

Senegal international striker Diafra Sakho put the Hammers in the lead in the 40th minute and doubled the advantage on the stroke of half time.

James Tomkins wrapped up the scoring just before the hour mark, as West Ham registered a comfortable 3-0 win at the Boleyn Ground.

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