West Ham were labelled a counter-attacking team after their victory over Newcastle.
Despite winning 2-0 at home, West Ham were called a counter-attacking team by many who watched the game, and Slaven Bilic has told the Standard that he has not been coaching his side to play in this manner.
He said: “Some people are now labelling us as a “counter-attacking” team, especially after the win against Newcastle. It wasn’t our plan to play like that but our early goal changed things a little. We didn’t have to press them in the areas where it is not important. In training we play a lot of possession football, we are not training like a counter-attacking team.”
Bilic led his side to a 2-0 win, in which an early goal eased any pressure on the side as they looked to clinch their first home three points of the season.
The Croatian boss has admitted that playing in a counter-attacking system is not the way he intended to set-up, but having scored early in the tie, West Ham were wise to sit deep.
In this situation, they could hold onto their lead, and then break into the opposition half whilst Newcastle had pushed players forward to attack.
And this set-up worked for the Hammers, with the second goal coming from a counter-attack in which Victor Moses ran almost the entire field whilst the Magpies had committed a number of men forward.
If West Ham had gone ahead, but then kept pushing for the second, they would have left themselves open at the back, and could have found themselves on the end of another home defeat.
Bilic has shown he is willing to adapt his team to deal with the ongoing situation in the game, and although he is not setting up as a counter-attacking manager, if sitting deep leads West Ham to victory, the boss has every right to utilise that tactical set-up.