West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic delays hip surgery as his side limp towards 40-point mark

Gerry Cox
Slaven Bilic, the West Ham manager, knows his side are in desperate need of points - Getty Images Europe

Slaven Bilic cuts a forlorn figure on the touchline as West Ham limp towards Premier League survival. The Croatian manager has endured a poor second season with the club, in contrast to the success of his first.

Since last summer the east London club have struggled to adapt to their new home, suffered a series of hammer blows on the injury front and been destabilised by the behaviour of their now-departed star player Dimitri Payet.

The point they earned here moved them one closer to the traditional safety post of 40, although Swansea moved two points closer to them with victory over Stoke.

But Bilic knows points will not be easily earnt, with tricky away games at Stoke City and Burnley either side of the visits of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

West Ham played out a goalless draw with Everton at the London Stadium on Saturday Credit: REUTERS

“We need points,” he said bluntly. “As long as I can remember, it is about 40 points. But I don’t think that way. You cannot calculate how you will get them. Not even Chelsea can say that. It is the greatest thing about this league.”

So his focus is on one game at a time. “I’m not talking only about getting out or keeping the distance [from the bottom three]. I’m talking also about climbing the table.”

Only then will he be able to think about this season. “I don’t like to moan about the obstacles we had.”

And himself? “My hip is nothing worse than it was last year. I don’t have time [for surgery]. You need six weeks for the operation – but I am not a player!”

All-time Premier League table

Everton’s unusually torpid display without a single effort on goal, meant they missed a chance to move into fifth place and Ronald Koeman was angry. He will spend the summer hoping to retain Romelu Lukaku and looking to increase his squad options.

“There are questions for the end of the season, and to bring a strong squad in. We saw today with the young players, it’s difficult to perform always in the Premier League – they need to improve and need to be stronger and all that kind of stuff. We will make decisions at the end of the season.”

RegisterLog incommenting policy

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes