West Ham manager Slaven Bilić has admitted he is beginning to feel "under pressure" following his side's humiliating 5-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday (3 December). The Hammers suffered a fresh injury blow when James Collins was forced off early in the game, but the Croatian boss refused to make excuses, admitting his side were just not good enough.
Alexis Sanchez's hat-trick and strikes from Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain helped Arsenal secure a comfortable victory at the London Stadium and move up to the second place in the Premier League.
The defeat leaves West Ham only one point above relegation, having failed to register a single victory in the Premier League since the win over Sunderland on 22 October.
Bilić couldn't hide his disappointment after the game, admitting he is now beginning to feel the pressure.
"I feel under pressure, I put the pressure on myself. I am not happy with the display. I don't want to feel like this. So, of course, I am feeling pressure. But the pressure is not a problem. Things have to change. Quality is not enough. You have to be a team, you have to be stubborn," the boss said to BBC after the defeat to Arsenal.
"No, my players did not go missing. It was bad. I feel disappointed. I feel humiliated and it's my responsibility. We have good spells in the game, but we can't do it for 90 minutes. During the game, we lose composure, especially when opponents score."
West Ham have been hit by a number of injuries since the beginning of the campaign and the game against Arsenal saw Bilić lose another player after Collins was replaced by Álvaro Arbeloa in the second minute. The boss admitted that the situation is far from ideal but said that those injuries didn't have an influence in his side defeat.
"James Collins the whole season he has a little bit of a tight calf, but he was ready to play. He did not feel it before the game but just early on in the match. It's bad luck but that's not the reason we lost," Bilić added after Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell also miss the game due to injuries. "We have eight players injured and now James Collins got injured in the second minute. But I don't want this to be an excuse for tonight's result. I want to apologise to the fans and anyone to do with West Ham."
The only good news of the game for the Hammers was the return of Andy Carroll following a long spell on the sidelines, with the striker scoring the only goal for his side 10 minutes after replacing Mark Noble.
"We have missed Andy Carroll from the start of the season and today he came back, it's good for him. Hopefully, he is going to stay fit and West Ham can only benefit," Bilić said. "I am not looking for excuses. Yes, we had injuries and mistakes, but we were not good enough. It was a big humiliation. I feel sorry for the fans and the club. We played some good games in this season, and had some good moments today even at 0-0 and 1-0 down.
"But I have to be honest and say we don't have the intensity and from the dedication comes the quality. We don't have it the same as last season, even in training. We have it occasionally in games and that's why we are so up and down. We are in a serious situation before this game which we don't like. The players know that, but it's not only about knowing but sacrificing and dedication for the game."