An under-fire Slaven Bilic has stressed that he does possess a mean streak, amid suggestions that he is too nice to snap West Ham out of their early season slump, which sees the club on the bottom of the Premier League ladder after failing to secure any points in their opening three games.
The Croatian is understood to have held a heart-to-heart discussion with his players following their defeat to Newcastle, and ahead of the Hammers first home game of the season Bilic has insisted that he is tough with his players when the time calls for it.
In an interview with Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday, a suggestion was made that few people have a bad word to say about him, but Bilic replied: "I don't see myself as an especially nice guy.
"I also can lose my temper and I was doing that very recently - or last season. When I feel it's needed, I do that.
"I think I have it [a fear factor]. I am motivated, I am hungry and the lads know if they don't perform they aren't going to play and that is the biggest punishment for them.
Slaven Bilic may not be the best manager in the world, but he is a very respectable man. I would back him over the board any day.— West Ham Fan Zone (@WHUFCFZ) September 8, 2017
"You can't say that no matter how the players are playing that they are playing. That's not the case. A lot of players, if they don't perform well, they are losing their place in the team.
"That has always been and is always going to be the biggest punishment for the players."I'm demanding a lot from the players. I don't want them to be afraid, of course, I want them to stay confident. I don't see that as a problem.
The only way I will start liking bilic again if he starts being ruthless to the players a lot more, giving more youth a chance and stop 1/2— Harry ⚒ (@HHickford) August 30, 2017
"If, for you, being hard or being a rocket means I am going to slag the players here in front of the cameras then I'm definitely not one of them - but then, I don't know who is like that in football nowadays - and I don't want to be like that.
The Hammers boss also admitted to being frustrated at missing out on top target William Carvalho during the transfer window, as his squad is now lacking depth as a result.
He added: "I wanted Carvalho. We all did. We are a bit thin and I took that risk deliberately.
"I'm disappointed because we've been looking at that position for two years. For that crucial position for us he was ideal and it didn't happen."