West Ham want Bilic to make key change after withering Stam assessment - report
By Harry Sykes
West Ham want Slaven Bilic to shake up his backroom staff after Jaap Stam suggested the intensity of Reading’s training sessions was too much for Reece Oxford, according to a report.
The Times claim Hammers chiefs will try to persuade the manager to change his support team after he snubbed the club’s offer of new fitness and first-team coaches in December.
It is said the West Ham top brass believe that a the appointment of a fresh face who can help drill the players might address concerns about the fitness of the squad.
There have been suggestions that Bilic’s long-term fitness coach Miljenko Rak, 69, could be aided by a younger man more in tune with modern preparation and injury prevention methods.
It has not gone unnoticed by supporters and critics that West Ham have had great difficulty this season in getting their best players on the pitch at the same time.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
An injury crisis has robbed Bilic of key trio Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang and Michail Antonio, as well as long-term absentees Angelo Ogbonna, Gokhan Tore and Diafra Sakho.
West Ham lost 2-1 away to Hull on Saturday when they conceded a goal in the last ten minutes for the third time in the past six matches.
Moreover, the Times report that Reading manager Stam suggested that Oxford, the defender who has been on loan from West Ham since late January, initially struggled to cope with the intensity of his training sessions.
Oxford has made just three substitute appearances, for a combined total of 38 minutes, since joining the Championship’s fifth-placed club on deadline day.
He had been expected to play a much more significant role for the promotion hopefuls after announcing his arrival in the West Ham senior side with a series of polished displays last season.
In other West Ham news, the club have reached agreement over a striker and the fee has been settled.