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Pablo Zabaleta sad to see Slaven Bilic leave, but confident West Ham United can ‘save season’ under David Moyes

PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 November 2017

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) and West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta (right) battle for the ball (pic: John Walton/PA Images).

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (left) and West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta (right) battle for the ball (pic: John Walton/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Manchester City right-back discusses the first week under the new boss and how everyone associated with the club needs to be positive

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during the Premier League match at the London Stadium. West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

West Ham United defender Pablo Zabaleta was sad to see Slaven Bilic depart the club last week, but is positive the squad can turn around their fortunes under new manager David Moyes.

A 4-1 defeat at home to Liverpool on November 4 proved to be the final straw for the Hammers board with Bilic leaving two days later.

Moyes replaced the Croatian as the new West Ham boss and will look to move the east Londoners away from the bottom three.

Zabaleta, when speaking at the Hammers new club store at Basildon’s Eastgate Shopping Centre, said: “I felt really sad when Slaven left because he is one of the reasons why I’m here at West Ham, but at the same time this is the life of a manager.

“When the team is not playing well and not getting results, the manager is always the first person to pay the price and to be honest we were not playing at our best, so the club thought we needed a change and that’s why he got the sack.

“David Moyes has now come in and in this type of moment of course we can talk about what went wrong and things like that, but it is time to be positive, look forward and try to save our season.

“There is still a long way to go, so everything depends on us and this is something which is good, but we need to be better than we have been in the first 11 league games and hopefully we do that.”

Angelo Ogbonna and Toni Martinez joined Zabaleta at the Hammers club store in Basildon where hundreds of West Ham fans had queued up for hours to meet some of their heroes.

The players had arrived at Eastgate Shopping Centre after another busy day at the training ground in Rush Green.

David Moyes of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green (pic: WHUFC). David Moyes of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green (pic: WHUFC).

“We did a double session in the morning, but training has been really good actually,” said Zabaleta.

“Of course last week was harder than normal because it was the international break, but we did some work well.

“This week we will probably do some sessions more focused on the game on Sunday against Watford.

“We are still missing some of the lads who are away on international duty, but hopefully by Thursday everyone will be back to meet the new manager and to start thinking about the weekend.”

The former Manchester City defender has enjoyed his first week under Moyes plus the new coaching staff.

Stuart Pearce has returned to West Ham while Alan Irvine and Billy McKinlay have also joined the Hammers.

Zabaleta added: “It’s been good under the new manager. He came last week when there was plenty of time for us to work with him and then his staff, like Stuart Pearce, came a few days later.

“When a new manager comes in you always need time and that’s from both the players and also the manager so everyone can meet each other.

“I’m sure David Moyes has been watching all the games we have played this season, but of course it is different when you are in the inside because only then can he change things he feels he needs to change.

“Hopefully we can improve as a team under him and start winning games.”

With West Ham in the relegation zone, they need to get back on track soon and Moyes will hope for a triumphant start at Watford on Sunday.

But regardless of the result, you won’t be able to question the players’ preparation with the squad being put through their paces since the Scot took over.

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