West Ham’s Slaven Bilic disappointed with Tottenham defeat but praises fighting spirit

Slaven Bilic was disappointed with West Ham’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on Saturday but praised his team’s fighting spirit at the London Stadium.

The hosts were 3-0 down after 60 minutes after two goals by Harry Kane and another by Christian Eriksen but staged a late rally thanks to goals from Javier Hernandez and Cheikhou Kouyate.

Hammers boss Bilic could at least console himself with the encouraging fightback from his side, who took some serious hidings at home last season.

Andy Carroll had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes, replacing the injured Michail Antonio, when his misplaced pass inadvertently helped set up the opener for Kane.

“We are disappointed we lost the game,” said Bilic. “Until that first goal we were proper like last year when we beat them, it was a really good performance.

“Then we lose one ball, with enough players behind, and it was a brilliant finish. But it was a good fight from our side.”

On whether the injury to Antonio impacted his team, Bilic added: “He had to go off and we had to shuffle a bit. Andy needed some time and we put Hernandez in Antonio’s position.

“We wanted to stay with the system we played in two games before. It always affects you to lose a player like Michail or to change at a time when you are doing well.”

Bilic could be forgiven for being sick of the sight of Kane after he took his tally against West Ham to seven goals in six appearances against them.

“The best compliment I can give Harry Kane is that we played with three centre-backs, and they all had a really good game,” added Bilic.

“They were mostly just up against him – and still he decided the game for them.”