Steven Gerrard defensive of Slaven Bilic as he criticises West Ham's players

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has defended under pressure West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

The Hammers have endured a torrid second season under Slaven Bilic, a far cry from their record breaking efforts last term.

Woeful recruitment and a lack of investment from co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold has been blamed for the club's shortcomings.

Supporters are growing increasingly disillusioned with thousands stating they do not intend to renew season tickets in online polls.

The East Londoners were unremarkable again in the 2-2 draw against hapless Sunderland last time out.

And they set a new league high in that game when it comes to blowing leads as they twice threw away the advantage to draw, meaning Bilic's side have now dropped 22 points from winning positions this season.

Discussing the statistic on BT Sport, Liverpool legend Gerrard - who has sung the praises of West Ham fans in the past - felt the blame lay with the players and not their under pressure manager. 

"(The dropped points tells you their) game management's poor," Gerrard told BT Sport.

Steven GerrardSteven Gerrard

"They don't know how to manage a game. They get themselves in front and they're not keeping leads for long enough.

"Of course it is (down to the players), I'm sure Slaven is sending them out there with a game plan telling them 'Look if we take the lead let's keep it tight at the back' but they're conceding too many goals."

Legendary Hammers defender turned coach Julian Dicks admitted last week he doesn't take defensive training sessions at the club and reports claim Bilic will be asked to shake up his staff should he be retained this summer.

In an interesting twist Glenn Hoddle disagreed with Gerrard in some respects, saying that in the latter stages of a game it was very much the manager's responsibility to control game management.

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