By Will Butcher
Jermaine Jenas believes West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is underestimated at the London Stadium as his future remains in doubt.
Bilic watched from the dugout on Friday night, as his Hammers produced a shattering blow to London rivals Tottenham’s title chances with a 1-0 victory on home soil.
Former Spurs midfielder Jenas leapt to the defence of Bilic, claiming the Hammers’ failure to replicate the successes of 2015-16 is down to injuries and relocating rather than the Croat’s management.
“I think the fact that what Bilic did last night and steer them away from relegation; I think he is underestimated. The loss of Payet, no Carroll all season and Michail Antonio has been out for large parts of the season, as well as the move to the new stadium,” Jenas told BT Sport Score.
“There has been a lot of unrest and they have been unsettled. Last night I thought they were brilliant, they were organised and their intensity from start to finish was brilliant.
“The stadium has been criticised this year, but last night it was unbelievable. It was rocking. That’s the type of atmosphere they need next season.”
Bilic saw his side finish seventh last season and qualify for the Europa League, but this season the Hammers have lost double the amount of league games and sit in eleventh.
The Hammers have reportedly identified a number of potential replacements for former Besiktas manager Bilic, including the likes of Rafa Benitez and Roberto Mancini.
But Friday night’s narrow win over Spurs will have come as a huge boost to Bilic’s chances of remaining in the managerial hotseat come the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season.