West Ham boss Slaven Bilic respected Norwich City’s threat

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic shares a joke with Norwich counterpart Alex Neil. Picture by Paul Ches

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic shares a joke with Norwich counterpart Alex Neil. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Slaven Bilic cautioned it was disrespectful to Norwich City to expect his high-flying West Ham just to turn up and roll over the Canaries.

The Hammers' had claimed the scalps of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City away from the Boleyn in the Premier League, but the Croatian was happy to salvage a late point in a pulsating encounter.

'Home games are the bread and butter and we have done it against title contenders away. I accept that,' he said. 'The home games we lost points against were Bournemouth, Leicester and now Norwich. What they all have in common is they play on reaction, they play on seconds balls, they are very disciplined, very aggressive and energetic. That is how they build the teams, and only if you match them in those parts of the game will you be better than them. The question is not only do we want to do that, but can we for 90 minutes?

'I would like to congratulate both teams because it was a good game of football, very dramatic, four goals, chances, set pieces, physios on the pitch, clashes. It was a physical English game but a quality game. I am sure myself and the Norwich manager will be happy with some things and not others. I'm not objective, I am West Ham manager but that said it is a fair result. Basically we could have won it, we could have lost it.'

Bilic expected nothing less from the Canaries after their point the previous weekend on Merseyside.

'We started better but after a big mistake they score and for 20 minutes they were much the better team, confident, keeping the ball, like at Anfield,' he said. 'Then in the last 15 minutes before half-time after we scored it was all us to be fair.

'I felt we were the team in the second half that was closer to scoring a second one. I had that feeling.

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'Their keeper made a couple of great saves and then suddenly they start to play dangerously, they were committing numbers forward. The full-backs were up, they built attacks and they had two chances before they scored. We are never happy when we don't win at home but this point makes me proud of the players because they showed character and quality.'

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