West Ham's youngest ever player Reece Oxford backs 'chilled' new boss Slaven Bilic to be a success

West Ham United's youngest ever player Reece Oxford has thrown his backing behind new manager Slaven Bilic ahead of the big Premier League kick off.

It is Bilic's debut season as a manager in the Premier League and detractors think he may struggle given the fierce competitiveness of the English top-flight.

But he has played in the Premier League, for West Ham, so is well aware of what to expect.

He has got off to a stuttering start to life on his return, narrowly winning his first official match in charge against Maltese minnows Birkirkara in the Europa League 1-0 thanks to a last minute goal.

The former Croatia boss then lost the away leg 1-0 and his side scraped through on penalties to set up a match against Romanians FC Astra Giurgiu at Upton Park last week.

The game looked to be going well with the Hammers flying at 2-0 after an hour.

But James Collins was sent off and Bilic's European cruise turned into something of a nightmare as the Hammers ended up drawing 2-2 to leave their hopes of Europa League qualification hanging in the balance ahead of the reverse fixture on Thursday night.

It marked an inauspicious start for the ex-Besiktas boss who will clearly need time to change the mentality and style of a side used to playing under Sam Allardyce for the last four years.

But youngster Oxford, who became the club's youngest ever player at just 16 this summer, has told West Ham's official website that he thinks the 53-year-old has the attributes to succeed at the Boleyn Ground.

"He (Bilic) is very good, he's very chilled and likes to get things done properly," Oxford told whufc.com.

Oxford has been likened to former Hammers star Rio Ferdinand and believes he can have a big season under Bilic.

He added: "I have had a lot of games and am just trying to take it step-by-step each time I go out there.

“I am trying to learn from every game but it is great for me to get the experience.

"This is a big season for me for both club and country and hopefully I will do well.”

Difficult to gauge if Bilic will be a success

A big bonus for Bilic from the off at Upton Park is his West Ham connections.

The former Irons centre-back was something of a cult hero for his passionate, full-blooded displays as a player in east London.

It is difficult to gauge Bilic's achievements in Turkey, though, as Besiktas, considered the second biggest club in the country, did not win anything during his spell in charge there.

He did guide the club through a difficult period financially, though, and like during his time as Croatia boss, brought through a raft of young players and got the best out of them.

That will bode well for the Hammers and youngsters like Oxford who are expected to play an important role at the club in the next few seasons.

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