By Danny Wright
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has made it clear that he took Javier Hernandez off in the 2-0 win over Huddersfield because he wanted to bring on some fresh legs in the second half.
The Hammers were being frustrated by Huddersfield up until the point that Hernandez was substituted off to be replaced by Andre Ayew just after the hour mark.
Supporters were enraged by the decision and made their disdain clear at the match by booing the tactical call as well as taking to social media to vent their anger.
However Ayew’s inclusion proved to be the winning factor as he supplied the assist to Pedro Obiang’s opener before scoring himself to give the Irons their first points of the Premier League season.
Bilic has since explained that he didn’t feel Hernandez was playing below the required level before he was taken off.
“It was not because Javier did not have a good game – it was a time to get fresh legs on the pitch,” said the London Stadium boss, as quoted by injury expert Ben Dinnery on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday.
Bilic on replacing Hernandez: "It was not because Javier did not have a good game – it was a time to get fresh legs on the pitch." #WHUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) September 12, 2017
Hernandez was played in a wide position against the Terriers, which perhaps explains why he was unable to find the net.
Andy Carroll was picked to spearhead the attack with Michail Antonio lined up on the opposite side of the front three.
Marko Arnautovic returns from his suspension when the Irons travel to West Brom at the weekend so it remains to be seen how Bilic will configure his attacking players for the Hawthorns trip.
In other West Ham news, Danny Gabbidon has delivered a two-word verdict after the win versus Huddersfield.