Slaven Bilic says he and his players should feel privileged to be a part of West Ham's last ever season at stadium

Upton Park

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has issued a rallying cry to his squad after starting their last ever season at the Boleyn Ground with a defeat.

The Hammers got the Premier League season off to the best possible start beating title hopefuls Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening weekend.

It set them up perfectly for their first home match against Leicester City in what is the club's last ever season at its Boleyn Ground home of 112 years.

The efforts to ensure Upton Park was a fortress for the momentous season fell at the first hurdle, though, with the Foxes inflicting a 2-1 defeat on Bilic's side.

Newly-promoted Bournemouth are next up at the famous old ground this Saturday afternoon with Bilic all too aware of its importance already.

'We are privileged to be a part of this'

And speaking in an interview with West Ham's sponsors Betway, Bilic has urged his players to realise how privileged they are to be involved in the last matches ever to be played on the hallowed turf once graced by the likes of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Billy Bonds and Sir Trevor Brooking.

"It’s crazy when you think about how many years and seasons the club have spent here," Bilic told Betway's website.

"So many generations, so many fans, so many great moments, big players.

"It’s all part of the club, for such a long time, and now, it’s a privilege for the fans to watch the last season here, as a player to play in the last season here, and for a manager to be connected with this club in its last year at this stadium."

Bilic well aware of Hammers history

Bilic is well aware of the history and tradition surrounding West Ham having first arrived in England in 1996 when he signed for Harry Redknapp.

He was thrown straight in at the deep end too, his first game being fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The former Croatia boss started something special that day, helping his new side to a memorable 1-0 win.

While Bilic only stayed in east London for 18 months before a move to Everton, something some fans still hold against the new manager, his Hammers experience stayed with him.

And it seems like destiny that he should be the man to lead them in their last season at the ground which still means so much to him.

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