Bilic declares West Ham are not a big gun
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic seemed to be trying to lower expectations after this hard fought draw with Norwich City.
Bilic intimated that the clubs recent impressive away form that has netted wins at Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal may have some thinking West Ham are up there with the big boys. “We’re not one of the big guns, we have great players but have to work our socks off every game,” said Bilic, who likened Norwich to West Ham’s previous conquerors at home: Bournemouth and Leicester. “These teams are disciplined, energetic and aggressive,” said Bilic, who despite the sporadic home form forecast that his team would have more home than away wins come the end of the season.
Norwich drew first blood when in the eighth minute Mark Noble poked a hopeful ball into the middle of his own back line. James Tomkins stretched but failed to reach the ball, which was picked up by Robbie Brady, who drove home under home keeper Adrian. Johnny Howson and Cameron Jerome then wasted good chances to stretch the visitors lead.
It was the 23rd minute when West Ham struck back, the industrious Diafra Sakho switching the ball out to the right where Dimitri Payet was able to advance and measure his cross for the onrushing Sakho to sweep home.
The striker then had a chance to put his side ahead, after keeper John Ruddy had failed to make the cross only for Sakho to scoop over.
At the other end Adrian pulled off a point blank save from Jerome, who met the cross from Howson.
It was the 81st minute when Norwich took the lead, substitute Nathan Redmond picking up the ball from a corner and drilling it into the far corner. West Ham though were not to be outdone, continuing to press on into injury time, they were finally rewarded when Ruddy saved but the ball fell nicely for Cheikhou Kouyate to sweep home.
Norwich manager Alex Neil was pleased with his side though admitted “it was a pity we didn’t see it out.”