The West Ham winger has been discussing the Croat.
And the West Ham boss was equally keen to praise Antonio when he took his opportunity with the first team.
That's what sets Bilic apart from plenty of his fellow managers, with the charismatic coach able to communicate with his players and manage a full squad without falling out with anyone (yet!).
"He constantly reassured me, spoke to me and, when he gave me an opportunity, he said 'you've done well.'"
Man management when it comes to players who aren't starting is one of the toughest gigs in football.
Indeed, many managers have failed where Bilic appears to be succeeding. A lot of younger coaches take players for granted and communication certainly isn't a strong point for some.
The West Ham head coach, however, looks keen on boosting morale across his squad.
West Ham travel to Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.