Bilic denies West Ham have discipline problem
Slaven Bilic has denied that West Ham have issues with discipline, despite Andy Carroll's reckless dismissal against Burnley leaving him short of strikers for Tuesday's fixture with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Bilic will hope Javier Hernandez returns from a hamstring injury in time for the Premier League clash at London Stadium, with Diafra Sakho ruled out with a back injury and Carroll suspended.
The England striker was shown two yellow cards in the space of two first-half minutes at Turf Moor for a pair of identical fouls, elbowing the Clarets' central defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.
It was the 12th Hammers dismissal of Bilic's reign of a little over two years, but the Croatian does not believe it is evidence of a problem.
"None of these red cards were down to typical lack of discipline," he told a news conference.Â
"Nobody head-butted anyone. A few of those red cards were appealed and they were ruled out.Â
The Boss and The Prince. pic.twitter.com/5ZRf3VLIeyâ€” West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) October 18, 2017
"Three or four were big mistakes. I don't remember one of them where I would connect it with lack of discipline on the pitch and letting the team down.
"On the other hand, yes we've had 12 red cards in the space of two and a half seasons."
Bilic's position as Hammers boss seemed under serious threat in the early weeks of the season, but a run of one defeat in six games has eased the pressure somewhat.
"It's calmer at the moment you know but it can change [after Friday].Â
"We are still there, five teams on eight points. Get three points and it's going to have a calm week ahead but then you have those hurricanes.Â
"Even you can't do all of them, that's why you need big stuff to do it all. There is no reason, time or need to be concentrated on those things."