Bilic takes playful swipe at West Ham goalkeeper Adrian as Spaniard bounces back

Slaven Bilic has taken a playful swipe at West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian, but in reality the Spaniard has been under pressure of late.

The Hammers are flying high in the Premier League and pushing for a place in the Champions League and certainly Europe under Slaven Bilic this season.

His number one goalkeeper Adrian has on the whole been superb for the club since signing from Real Betis on a free transfer in 2013, quickly establishing himself as the main man.

But he does on rare occasions have the odd erratic or hot headed moment, the sending off against Leicester City in the first home game of the season after rushing up front for a corner being a case in point.

Question marks over number one

He was at fault for a goal against Crystal Palace recently and has struggled to make any notable saves of late as the Hammers defence has consistently leaked goals, without losing games.

Adrian was criticised for his performance against Palace by pundit Ian Wright.

But earlier in the season with West Ham suffering a glut on injuries to seven key first team players, Adrian was keeping them in a number of games and even made it into the European Team of the Week.

Adrian is something of a cult hero in East London after his winning penalty heroics against Everton in last season's FA Cup.

Randolph on the rise

But such has been the brilliant form of Darren Randolph in cup games and during Adrian's suspension this season, it has put the Spaniard's performances under the microscope.

The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper was also a hero of his country's qualification for the European Championships in France this summer.

Some Hammers fans had suggested it was time to give Randolph a chance to shine in the Premier League ahead of Wednesday night's game against Watford.

But Bilic stuck with his number one and was proved right as Adrian saved a crucial penalty from Troy Deeney at the death which would have made for a nervy final few moments at 3-2.

Bilic pokes fun

That came just days after he went the wrong way for Leonardo Ulloa's controversial last gasp penalty which handed Leicester City a 2-2 draw and dented West Ham's Champions League push at the King Power Stadium.

And speaking to the club's official website after the game, Bilic quipped it was about time his stopper started backing up his reputation.

"Well that (penalty save) was about time, because I heard a lot 'he is good' and I go 'where, yea?'," Bilic quipped on West Ham TV.

"I was like ‘Any chance?!’ So it was a good night for us."

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