John Hartson claims Slaven Bilic will succeed at West Ham, but must strengthen defence

Slaven Bilic - West Ham Vs Birkrikara

John Hartson believes Slaven Bilic needs to improve his defensive options.

John Hartson has told Kicca that West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will succeed at Upton Park - but must strengthen his defence.

Bilic was appointed Hammers boss earlier this summer having left Turkish outfit Besikas, with the Croatian returning to manage the club he played for in the 1990's.

After an opening day victory away at Arsenal, many West Ham fans were optimistic about the Bilic era, believing that he could earn a top ten finish after underwhelming campaigns under Sam Allardyce.

However, successive home defeats to Leicester City and Bournemouth have brought that feel good factor around Upton Park crashing to a halt, especially given that the defeat to Bournemouth was nothing short of a disaster from start to finish.

The 4-3 defeat featured a defensive horror show, with Aaron Cresswell errors gifting the Cherries their first two goals, Angelo Ogbonna being hauled off in favour of James Tomkins and, just to compound the misery, a red card for right back Carl Jenkinson.

With just over a week of the transfer window left, the Hammers still need new signings, and whilst many supporters want new strikers brought in, former Hammers striker Hartson told Kicca that it's defenders Bilic should be targeting - before predicting that Bilic will get it right at Upton Park after two bad results.

"Slaven - a player I've played with - will get it right. I believe he needs some time to get his team to gel," said Hartson. "He has [Julian] Dicks, another ex team mate of mine, and both will be working daily to make the team more solid in defence. I'm sure Slaven will want a few more additions with just eight days before the transfer window shuts," he added.

The Hammers have brought in the aforementioned Ogbonna this summer as well as renewing Jenkinson's loan stay from Arsenal, but there doesn't appear to be real competition for places in the back four, with Stephen Hendrie and Joey O'Brien little threat to the full backs right now.

Bilic may look to target experienced Premier League defenders to solve his problem at the back, but with the deadline moving ever closer, he will have to move quickly.

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