David Gold delivers verdict on Slaven Bilic's first season as Hammers boss

David Gold

West Ham United chief David Gold has been talking about the club's progress on and off the pitch this season.

The sixth-placed Hammers are flying high this season and have impressed fans and pundits alike by mounting a serious challenge for the Champions League places.

Slaven Bilic has reinvigorated the East Londoners and with stars such as Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini, the Hammers are playing the 'West Ham way' once more.

The club narrowly missed out on a trip to Wembley after being held by a late goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford before losing 2-1 in the replay at Upton Park last week.

But they are on course for at the very least a Europa League place, winning 3-1 over Watford last time out.

That win saw the Hammers record a new top flight record of going 15 games unbeaten at home, a run stretching back to August.

And it is made all the more significant by the fact this season is West Ham's last at their beloved Boleyn Ground home of 112 years before their big move to the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium in the summer.

It is not just the fans who have been delighted with the club's progress this season, though.

'Serious contenders'

Co-owner Gold has given Bilic his seal of approval after a superb debut campaign and told the club's official website the Croatian has turned the Hammers into 'serious contenders'.

"The victory over Watford also saw the club set a new top flight record of going 15 games unbeaten at the Boleyn Ground this season which is an amazing achievement," Gold told whufc.com.

"We have broken a number of records this year with our first double over Liverpool for over 50 years and no team in the Premier League being able to do the double over us this season.

"It shows how far we have come and we are a serious contender now.

"It is great to see us challenging in the top half of the table and I hope that will continue when we move into the new stadium."

Hammers on the up and up

There is no reason why West Ham cannot continue their recent rise.

Indeed were it not for a string of poor refereeing decisions in the last month or so and bad luck with injuries during the winter the Hammers could easily have turned at least 5 of their 14 draws into wins.

That 10 points difference would not see them right in the Champions League places.

But they are building steadily on solid foundations and as Gold has said the future is certainly bright whatever happens in these last four games of the season.

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