Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bilic impressed by louder than expected crowd

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 5 Aug 2016

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Slaven Bilic was impressed with the atmosphere inside the London Stadium as West Ham began life at their new home. 

Bilic and Co. ran out 3-0 winners on Thursday, sealing a 4-2 aggregate win over Slovenian side Domzale to progress to the Europa League play-off round. 

It was West Ham’s first game at their new ground, having swapped Upton Park for the larger London Stadium at the end of last season.

There were initial fears the switch would see West Ham lose some of their matchday atmosphere, but Bilic was left impressed by the noise from the club’s faithful. 

“The atmosphere? I didn’t know what it would be like,” Bilic said.

“This was the first time we could judge it and it was more than I expected. It’s loud.

“It was brilliant to go out in front of a packed, loud stadium.”

Two goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and one from signing Sofiane Feghouli saw West Ham claim the big win, bouncing back from their shock 2-1 loss in the first leg. 

“It’s a good feeling,” Bilic said in regards to the result. “We played well but we aren’t going to go overboard.

“It was difficult psychologically for us but, for the stage we are at, we played really good. We were fit, aggressive and played good football.

“We could have scored more goals, but it was a very mature performance. We played badly in the first leg but a week later we are fresher and closer to the season.”

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