I won’t allow my dogs to support HotSpur says West Ham boss Slaven Bilic

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The Croat is already a legend at Upton Park following a career that has seen him star as a player and now manager. West Ham boss Slaven Bilic says he does not hate Spurs – but joked he would not even let his dogs support them. But he insists he will not be placing any particular importance on Sunday’s trip to White Hart Lane, even though he will be checking whether his pet dogs are still wearing their claret and blue collars.

He barked: “I don’t feel any dislike towards Spurs. No. “But they are a London club. It means a lot to the fans because you have all West Ham fans working with Spurs fans. “It is a good thing when you win because you can’t wait to go to work and tease them or whatever. If you lose, it’s not very pleasant. “In my apartment, we are all West Ham. I don’t think my dogs are Spurs fans, but I will check it. This morning they looked at me a little bit differently!” “Spurs know we are a club that can harm them. It would not be the first time. Last year, they got away with a draw. “It was a great game for West Ham, 2-0 and then 2-2 in the last second. It means more for us, but not just for the Spurs game. “We are confident now because we know whoever we play, if we are good, we have a chance. “We will approach the game with that knowledge that if we are on top of our game we have a good chance.”

West Ham will miss star player Dimitri Payet, who is out for three months after injuring his ankle against Everton in a challenge with James McCarthy.

Bilic said: “You don’t have to be West Ham manager to say he is really important. Dimitri is our best player. “His impact on not only us but the Premier is huge. “He is very important in terms of scoring goals, assists or keeping the ball. “We are going to miss him. It was simply a very bad tackle. He is irreplaceable. “He is one of those players making the team better 50 per cent. I question how we will look without him.”