Nikica Jelavic has scored twice in his first 16 matches for West Ham United.
Jelavic scored just once in his first 15 appearances for the Hammers, and Bilic admits that the Croatian striker was getting frustrated about his failure to hit the back of the net with any regularity.
However, Jelavic managed to score the winner in West Ham’s most recent match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Bilic believes this goal will be a major confidence boost to the 30-year-old forward.
“I don't know how many times me and my staff have told him it is not only about goals because he is very mobile and he gives his best,” Bilic said. “But you know strikers, they are always thinking, ‘When am I going to score the first goal?’
“So it is extremely important for him to score this goal and open the locker — especially in the FA Cup. It's going to boost his confidence.”
Jelavic has not won over all the supporters at Upton Park, following his arrival from Hull City in the January transfer window.
The former Everton man is a different type of option to the rest of the Hammers’ strikers, and his style of play has caused him to receive some criticism.
Jelavic’s finish against Wolves was a smart one, though, and he will be hoping that strike can kick-start his career in London.
Jelavic has an opportunity to stake his claim for a first team place, with Diafra Sakho sidelined.
The striker is currently in competition with Andy Carroll for a place in Bilic’s starting line-up.