By Amir Mir
West Ham have drawn Romanian champions Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League play-off round for the second time in two seasons – and fans were looking for revenge for last season’s defeat.
Astra defeated the London club over two legs, most notably their 2-1 win in Romanian which ended the Hammers hopes of progressing through to the group stages.
The common word used by supporters on Friday was “revenge”, including from Jack Sullivan, the son of the club’s owner who was clearly pleased with the draw.
Other supporters were annoyed with the fact that West Ham will have to play five games in 13 days in what is expected be a tough opening few weeks for the side.
Bilic will have to rotate his squad for games against Chelsea in the Premier League opener, Astra in Romania, Bournemouth, the second leg v Astra, before a tough away fixture at the Etihad against Manchester City.
However in general the fans were in a buoyant mood and ready to take on the Romanian club as they look forward to the possibility of playing Olympiacos and Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stages of the Europa League.
Here are the reactions of supporters on Twitter:
— Jack Sullivan (@jsullivanwhu) August 5, 2016
What a hideous schedule. Chelsea 15th, Astra away (Romania) 18th, Bournemouth 21st, Astra @ home 25th, man city away 28th. Ok then#whufc
— Bills ⚒ (@NotBiIls) August 5, 2016
— Luke Odey (@lukeyBB) August 5, 2016
— Steve Gilliard (@SteveGilliard) August 5, 2016
We all knew we were getting FC Astra, we need revenge ⚒⚒⚒ #WHUFC
— Robert Mullis (@robertomullis) August 5, 2016
— Joe O'Driscoll (@27_joe) August 5, 2016
Knew we would get Astra again. Can't get knocked out by them twice! #WHUFC
— Jake Carter (@JakeyC247) August 5, 2016
Damn, there goes the prospect of great trips to Copenhagen or Praha. #WHUFC
— Benny Berger (@benny_berger) August 5, 2016
— Jason Button (@butskijnr) August 5, 2016
In other West Ham team news, manager Slaven Bilic believes he requires five more players as his playing squad is too small.