Bilic has been thrust into a difficult position as the club’s manager, tasked with juggling the pre-season schedule and having already seen the Hammers play their first competitive game of the new campaign.
However, O’Brien has praised the way Bilic has adapted, suggesting his laid back approach so far is simply designed to allow him to a look at his squad from afar before the intensity ramps up with the return of the Premier League next month.
“There has been a mix of senior lads and younger boys, it’s been really good,” he told whufc.com.
“The manager has come in and spoken to all the lads - It’s a chance for him to have a look at everyone and everything, so it’s been good. He can see the younger lads, the boys who haven’t been playing as much and those who have. When a new manager comes in, there’s a new start on everything.”
Progress so far
West Ham’s progress in pre-season so far has been good.
Everything has gone as well as Bilic could have hoped, key players have avoided injury and the club have a good cushion over FC Lusitans in the Europa League qualifiers.
Bilic will work more and more closely with the players over the next few weeks and the intensity will increase as the more serious matches get closer.
The theory behind Bilic’s approach
Some fans may be a little bemused as to why Bilic wasn’t in the dugout for the game against Lusitans next week, but he could simply be backing off and judging his squad before he jumps in to make changes.
His absence shouldn’t be seen as a sign of neglect or disrespect.