Former West Ham striker Dean Ashton explains why Slaven Bilic will get time at club

Dean Ashton

The retired front-man has been speaking about West Ham's prospects for the upcoming campaign.

Former West Ham striker Dean Ashton has been speaking about The Hammers upcoming season, and just how much time Slaven Bilic might get at the club.

The former England international, who retired from the game in 2009 aged just 26 after a long standing ankle problem originally sustained in an international training session, has been speaking to the Eastern Daily Press.

The former striker, who scored 19 goals in 56 appearances for West Ham, believes that the Croatian may get more time to succeed than others due to his status as a former West Ham player:

“With West Ham moving to the Olympic Stadium at the end of the season their priority has to be staying in the league. I’m sure Slaven Bilic (new Hammers boss) will want to do more than that and he will probably be given a bit more time, especially from the fans with him being a former player.

"But if he can’t make the team gel, his position will come down to results. Fans might not stick with him if they’re struggling.”

Bilic of course played for the club for 18 months, becoming a fan favourite, before making a switch to Everton in 1997.

Now he is back with a reputation as an attacking minded and fearless coach – which should have West Ham fans purring at the prospect of the ‘West Ham way’ returning to Upton Park.

If that is the case, he is likely to have the fans on his side, even if results don’t always go the right way.

The trouble is keeping the balance right. Dropping out the Premier League right now would be a disaster with the Olympic Stadium move on the horizon.

Ashton knows, and every West Ham knows, that should Bilic’s style not prove enough to be keeping them clear of the drop, another ‘Big Sam’ type might have to pick up the pieces once again.

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