Slaven speaks: West Ham boss goes into international break seething after 'cheap' goal and double injury blow

Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic has gone into the international break seething after seeing his side held to a draw by Everton and suffering a major injury blow.

The Hammers would have gone into the two-week break just three points off the top of the Premier League had they held on after Manuel Lanzini gave them a deserved first half lead against the Toffees.

But some poor play, firstly from Dimitri Payet and then West Ham's centre-halves Winston Reid and James Tomkins, allowed bogey man Romelu Lukaku in to equalise just before half-time.

The Hammers' misery was compounded when star man Payet left the field injured and was later ruled out for up to three months. His replacement Enner Valencia was also later stretchered off with what looks to be another serious injury.

It all came together to leave Bilic a very frustrated man ahead of a massive derby against rivals Tottenham Hotspur next time out.

Expected better

Speaking to Sky Sports in the wake of the game, the former Croatia boss - himself a defender of some repute for the likes of West Ham, Everton and his country - had some words of advice for his defenders and said he expected better.

"It was a frustrating moment," Bilic said about the equaliser.

"All I ask for the players then (after West Ham scored) is to keep the ball.

"We really needed that but we lost the ball unnecessarily. The goal was very cheap.

"Our two centre backs played brilliantly the whole game, they played against one of the best forwards and they were fantastic.

"But let's say in that situation I was expecting them to go back before Berkley passed the ball because if you stay with Lukaku in one line you have absolutely no chance. But they were fantastic."

'He is our main player'

Payet's injury will keep him out until February next year, a massive blow to the Hammers' hopes of a top-six challenge this season.

He conceded how important the Frenchman already is to the East Londoners and says the game against Roberto Martinez's side has robbed him of some real attacking threat.

"It is a big blow for us," Bilic added.

"Payet, especially when we have the ball, he is our main player.

"Without Payet when Enner came on he did really good and we really looked really dangerous and then he got injured as well and they are the only things I'm not happy about (the goal) and the two injuries that we picked up."

Cause for conern

Bilic's exasperation is understandable.

Spurs have leapfrogged them into fifth place in the table on goal difference ahead of their big derby match, and are in fine form.

Harry Kane is scoring goals for fun again, while the Hammers have stuttered slightly and now have these key injuries to contend with.

Bilic has already led his side to memorable away wins over Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace this season.

Do the same at Spurs and Hammers fans really might start to believe their new boss is going to lead them to something special.

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