Senior players send clear message to West Ham owners over Slaven Bilic

New West Ham manager Slaven Bilic looks on during the UEFA Europa League match between West Ham United and FC Lusitans at Boleyn Ground on July 2, 2015 in London, England.

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic is a man under pressure despite a first win of the season last time out.

Slaven Bilic, Manager of West Ham United looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St. James Park on August 26, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne,...

When West Ham lost their opening three Premier League matches the writing looked to be on the wall for Slaven Bilic.

Sat rock bottom of the league on a minus eight goal difference Bilic was then pushed to defend himself in a public spat with co-owner David Sullivan over transfers.

The likes of Rafael Benitez and Roberto Mancini were linked as potential replacements as speculation mounted that he would be sacked.

A 2-0 victory over Huddersfield last time out has lifted the mood and the club off the bottom.

West Ham United's French-born Ghanaian midfielder Andre Ayew (top) celebrates wtih West Ham United's English striker Andy Carroll after scoring their second goal during the English Premier...

Despite that win, though, questions are still being asked over the direction West Ham are heading under Bilic, who is into the last season of his contract.

But no fewer than six of West Ham's most senior players have spoken out in support of Bilic in what is a clear message to the owners that the squad are fully behind their manager.

One such player is experienced Portuguese defender Jose Fonte who spoke up for Bilic in an interview with the club's official website.

"He is a passionate manager and a great manager and he deserved this because he’s been under a lot of pressure, of course, as we all know, this is the business we are in," Fonte told

"It was important for him and it was important for us to show our attitude and that we are always with our manager and I’m pleased for him because it was his birthday and we gave him what he wanted.

West Ham United's Croatian manager Slaven Bilic (R) gestures to West Ham United's Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta during the English Premier League football match between West Ham...

“We are experienced enough to know we are all under pressure. This is our job and we get criticised for everything, so the best way to deal with it is to go to the training ground and work harder than ever and that’s what we’ve been doing, training as hard as we can to put things right.”

Fonte isn't the only player to publicly back the manager.

Mark Noble, James Collins, Andy Carroll, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart have all spoken out in support of the under pressure Croatian in the last week.

And the fight the team showed on the London Stadium pitch to grind out the crucial win over Huddersfield saw the players put their words in action.

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