West Ham defender James Tomkins has urged Irons fans to display some patience towards new boss Slaven Bilic after the East London outfit could only muster an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Maltese side Birkirkara in a Europa League qualifier earlier in the week.
A vocal section of the 30,048 strong Upton Park crowd were clearly frustrated with their team’s performance against the minnows from Malta before Tomkins’s late winner, which gave the Irons a slim second qualifying round first-leg lead.
However, Tomkins has been quick to stress that it will take time for Bilic – who replaced previous boss Sam Allardyce in June – to impose his new ideas on the squad.
He said: “The fans seemed to get a bit frustrated towards the end. They want us to do well but it’s a change of era and we all need to understand it might take a little longer.
“The gaffer has been working in a different country and it’s difficult for him and ourselves but we’re definitely getting there — you can see little things already, such as playing out more from the back.”
The appointment of Bilic as West Ham boss is supposed to signal in a new era for the club, as the Irons prepare to move into their new ground, the renovated Olympic Stadium, next season. The upcoming campaign will be their last at the Boleyn Ground.