Bilic: We are in a relegation fight

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West Ham's season went from bad to worse on Saturday, humiliated 5-1 at home to London rivals Arsenal, but their manager remains optimistic

Slaven Bilic has acknowledged that West Ham are in a relegation fight and the sooner the Premier League strugglers realise that the better as the Croatian manager bids to save his job.

West Ham's season went from bad to worse Saturday, humiliated 5-1 at home to London rivals Arsenal.

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Alexis Sanchez scored a 14-minute hat-trick to leave West Ham without a win in five league matches and languishing in 17th position, just a point above the relegation zone.

Asked if West Ham are in a battle to preserve their top-flight status, Bilic told reporters: "Of course we are in a relegation fight and of course the players know that.

"It's not that they don't care. I spoke to all of them but something is there between caring and being crazy.

"The players and I are together. We didn't play tonight like we know we can, and we are in the same position we were in before the game.

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"It's about time for us – not for them – to realise what position we are, the situation we're in at the moment and the only thing we have to do to get us out of this zone."

Despite West Ham's woes, Bilic has no plans to walk away from the club, who suffered a 4-1 loss to Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

"I'm a very positive, open person and try to be open and honest. I am very optimistic and will never give up. I am positive I can turn this around," he added.

"Do I enjoy to be in this situation? No. Do I feel pressure? Yeah, but I don't want to feel like I'm feeling now. Am I positive? Yes I am. Did I do enough last season to get some credit? I think I did.

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"At the same I'm 48 and have been in football for 30 years so I know how it works in football, and I have absolutely no problem with that.

"Do I like my job? Yes, I like it."

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