West Ham United beat Watford 3-1 yesterday to move to within four points of the top four.
West Ham went into their match with the Hornets seven points away from the Champions League qualification spaces, meaning that they are likely to have to win all of their remaining fixtures if they are to have any chance of catching Arsenal.
And Bilic did not want his side overlooking the challenge of Watford, so he warned the squad that this game would be decisive for them before kick-off.
“It was a really important game for us, because we said to that players before that it was like a decisive one," the Croatian boss said. "We told them in pre-match that this game would determine whether we would look up and think ‘Maybe we’ve got a chance [of top four] if we win, or if we lose we would look below us’.
“Of course there are still clubs below us and it’s not over but it’s good. We’re looking up and it’s nice to have five points cushion to Southampton or nine points to Stoke. It’s a good position.
Bilic’s motivational words appeared to work, as West Ham ran out 3-1 winners of Quique Sanchez Flores’ side.
The Hammers first scored through Andy Carroll, before Mark Noble bagged two penalties to complete the triumph and extend the London's side's unbeaten run at Upton Park to 15 matches.
West Ham have now reduced the gap on the top four down to four points, with their next match coming against West Bromwich Albion in two weekends’ time.