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Former West Ham star: Hammers must stick with Bilic as boss

PUBLISHED: 15:30 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:00 22 March 2017

Paul Konchesky, West Ham

Paul Konchesky, West Ham

EMPICS Sport

Ex-Hammer Paul Konchesky is not a fan of the London Stadium, but he is of Michail Antonio

West Ham United's Paul Konchesky and Palermo's Aimo Diana.West Ham United's Paul Konchesky and Palermo's Aimo Diana.

Former West Ham and England star Paul Konchesky says that the club must stick with manager Slaven Bilic despite the current problems that the club are facing.

Saturday saw two of his old clubs meet at the London Stadium and it was Leicester City who came out on top with a 3-2 victory after scoring two goals in the opening nine minutes.

But the left-back insists that Bilic can turn things round at the club.

Speaking exclusively to 888Sport, Paul Konchesky said: “I’d stick by Bilic, For me, he is the best man for West Ham. He is us,

“Yes, he has played players out of position and surely there must be enough players in that squad who can fill them, but maybe he doesn’t trust them or they’re not good enough.

“So they need to rebuild the team, but stick by him because he’s got good people around him.

West Ham United's Paul Konchesky after his shot was saved in the penalty shootoutWest Ham United's Paul Konchesky after his shot was saved in the penalty shootout

“Get this season out of the way and if they can finish in the top half that would be a success for now.”

Much of the blame for this indifferent season has been place on the move to the London Stadium. Konchesky certainly thrived at Upton Park, so does he thing the move was a bad one?

“I’ve played for West Ham and I’m a West Ham fan and I can see why the owners thought the move was a good thing,” said the 35-year-old, who is plying his trade for Billericay Town in the Ryman Premier League.

“If you want to compete with the big clubs you need a big stadium, but possibly this was too big of a jump.

“It’s taking time to get used to for the players and with the atmosphere and that has taken its toll this year.”

Upton Park was certainly a second home for Konchesky during his two years at the club and he cherished every moment of his time there.

West Ham United's Michail Antonio lays on the ground after he picks up an injury during the Premier League match at Bournemouth (pic: Steven Paston/PA Images).West Ham United's Michail Antonio lays on the ground after he picks up an injury during the Premier League match at Bournemouth (pic: Steven Paston/PA Images).

“I loved it,” he said. “You get goosebumps playing at the Boleyn when that crowd are as vocal as they can be – especially in the derby games.

“It must have been intimidating for the opponents and as a fan myself, it was a massive boost hearing all the songs.”

England face two games in the next week with a trip to Germany for a friendly on Wednesday, before a World Cup qualifier at Wembley against Lithuania on Sunday.

With the withdrawal of Michail Antonio through injury, it means that there are no West Ham players involved, so what does the two-cap man think of the likes of Antonio and fellow left-back Aaron Cresswell?

“Antonio has impressed me most because of where he’s come from,” said Konchesky. “He’s always been quick, strong and powerful, we know that, but he’s brought a lot to his game.

“He does a job wherever he has to play and he’s proven his ability and versatility by getting into the England squad.

Aaron Cresswell, West Ham UnitedAaron Cresswell, West Ham United

“Cresswell has potential and these sort of games against Lithuania are the type where fringe players can get a run.

“But he hasn’t made the squad again, possibly down to poor form or how West Ham are doing.

“Personally though I think he has enough to make it to the squad at least and getting involved.”

Read the full 888sport interview with Paul Konchesky, including his thoughts on how Leicester can progress against Atletico in the Champions League.

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