Under-pressure West Ham manager Slaven Bilic told two of his players to calm down during his half-time teamtalk in their miraculous 3-2 comeback win away to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup.
Bilic who has been under fire for West Ham’s poor start to the season, told the Independent: “I told them to calm down, to do some things better when they were having the ball, especially [Manuel] Lanzini and [Edimilson] Fernandes, and to start to be braver on the ball.”
Following the 3-0 home loss to Brighton on Friday, Bilic desperately needed a victory during the current volatile atmosphere of struggling managers being axed.
Had the game finished in Tottenham’s favour, it could have potentially pushed Bilic’s career at West Ham over the edge, despite West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan giving him ‘time to honour his contract’, according to Sky.
Half-time on Wednesday must have seemed like staring into the abyss for the West Ham manager, with goals from Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli putting the game firmly in Tottenham’s control.
But after a possibly job-saving team talk, two quickfire goals from Andre Ayew brought the game level.
"The second goal came, and you can still lose 4-2, but it’s you who are in charge,” Bilic continued.
The winner came in the 70th minute, with Angelo Ogbonna’s goal securing just the result Bilic would’ve hoped for, with West Ham looking like a completely different side in the second half.
“We were closing down much better. Suddenly we score the goal, and gained energy, our crosses started to be world-class crosses to be fair, very hard for them to defend.”
Bilic’s presence and teamtalk was lauded by forward Ayew, who told Sky Sports that the Croatian's rousing talk gave them the words to claim the win, with the Hammers players seemingly still backing their beleaguered manager.
“We stayed confident. We were down but the coach had the words,” Ayew said. “I want to congratulate the whole team, it's a massive win.”