Football

Bilic won't be drawn on Hammers

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Former West Ham defender Slaven Bilic has refused to answer questions linking him with the managerial vacancy at Upton Park.

The highly-rated Croatia manager abruptly ended a press conference arranged to preview Sunday's international friendly against Wales in Osijek when asked about reports linking him with the Hammers.

Bilic was installed as one of the favourites for the post when Gianfranco Zola was sacked earlier this month, but his name has faded in recent days following the resignation of Avram Grant at Portsmouth.

Grant is now considered the most likely contender but Bilic is still unwilling to declare his interest or discuss the subject.

When asked about the matter the 41-year-old waved away the question and stood up to leave the room at the Gradski Stadium.

That came after he had spoken of his regard for his opposite number, the Wales manager John Toshack, and respect for his team.

Former Liverpool striker Toshack has managed clubs such as Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruna and Besiktas in a distinguished career.

Bilic said: "Who am I to judge John Toshack? When I was a kid he was one of the greatest strikers in Europe with Liverpool and he managed Real Madrid and other top clubs.

"As a player and a manager he has had a great career. He is Welsh and I know that he is enjoying this job and I have a big respect for him."

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Football
Gianfranco Zola
John Toshack
West Ham United
Liverpool

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