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West Ham's away day blues leave Bilic a worried man

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West Ham's away day blues leave Bilic a worried man

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(Reuters) – West Ham United’s delayed return to their former Olympic Stadium home cannot come soon enough after a third successive away defeat left them bottom of the Premier League on Saturday. Slaven Bilic’s side have been forced to play their opening three fixtures away because of the world athletics championships being staged at the stadium they moved into last season. After a 4-0 defeat at Manchester United and 3-2 loss at Southampton, a Newcastle United side low on confidence after an equally poor start offered a chance for West Ham to kickstart their season. Instead they were outplayed. Bilic, who came under pressure last season when West Ham flirted with relegation, strengthened his squad over the summer with the signings of Manchester City full back Pablo Zabaleta and former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. But so far there is no evidence of any improvement and they have suffered their worst start to a season since 2010-11 when they went on to be relegated. Bilic was scathing of his side’s collapse at Newcastle for whom Joselu, Ciaran Clark and Aleksandar Mitrovic scored past England keeper Joe Hart, another new signing. “We didn’t play good, we have to admit it, they were the better side,” the Croatian said. “…They were better in everything, especially in determination and wanting to win second balls and making a transition when doing that. “We didn’t deserve anything. Disappointing and frustrating the way we played… Simply, it wasn’t good enough.” When the Premier League resumes next month after the international break, West Ham will host promoted Huddersfield Town who have taken seven points from three games. Worryingly for West Ham the cavernous London Stadium hardly proved a fortress last year as they struggled to adapt after vacating their tight and atmospheric Upton Park ground, winning only seven of their 19 games there. “We can talk about the away games but I expected a lot, lot more,” Bilic said. “We can talk about excuses but after this kind of defeat and performance, we are in a bad position and only we can get ourselves out of it.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by John Stonestreet)
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