Marlon Harewood credits West Ham's success this season to this man's influence

West Ham United Gate

The former Hammers striker has hailed Slaven Bilic, saying the Croatian manager has got everything right.

Former West Ham United striker Marlon Harewood has told BBC World Service's Sport Today programme that the club's success this season is down to the managerial nous of Slaven Bilic, who "has got everything right".

The Hammers, tipped by many as the favourites to win the FA Cup, suffered heartbreak on Wednesday night as they bowed out of the competition at the semi-final stage with a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United in their quarter-final replay.

However, regardless of that setback Bilic's first season at the club has been an undeniable success with Irons enjoying their most encouraging campaign in recent times by pushing for a first ever qualification for the Champions League.

Boosted by summer signings such as Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, and Michail Antonio, Bilic has helped turn the side from mid-table no-hopers to genuine European challengers.

Though it is Payet who has generated the most headlines, Harewood is adamant that former Croatia boss Bilic is the man who should be receiving the plaudits for the club's success.

The 36-year-old, who scored 56 goals in 170 games nearly four years at Upton Park, told Sport Today: "The gaffer there has just brought so much belief to all the players and some of the signings that he's brought in to bond with the previous team that was there.

"He's just got everything right with the lads and they just want to go out and enjoy themselves. They're taking people on, it's such a delight to see for the fans and everybody.

"Obviously I played there under [Alan] Pardew and we had that sort of team bonding and atmosphere in the ground. It's nice to see now and I think he's got the right formula for everyone."

West Ham's defeat to United was their first in 11 matches in all competitions since 6 February, and Bilic must now ensure that it does not quash the confidence and belief in his squad.

Sitting just five points behind Manchester City in the race for a spot in the top four and next season's Champions League qualifying round, the Hammers face a tricky trip to league leaders Leicester City this weekend.

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