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Bilic eyes Man City lift after Europa League flop


BILICREUTERS-Slaven Bilic believes West Ham United can pick themselves up after their Europa League elimination by Astra Giurgiu and prove their character by getting a result against Manchester City on Sunday.

For the second year in a row, West Ham failed to make the competition’s group stage after being eliminated by Astra, following up a 1-1 draw in Bucharest with a 1-0 defeat at the London Stadium on Thursday — their first loss at their new home.

Despite the disappointment, Bilic believes his side can lift themselves and get a result from Pep Guardiola’s City, having masterminded a 2-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season.

“We are all disappointed because it was a big blow last night,” Bilic told reporters on Friday. “But we have to pick ourselves up and show character and quality.

“It wasn’t very likely for us to win there last season as Manchester City had started great with five wins, 15 points and no goals conceded,” Bilic added. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t do it again this season.”

City have a 100 percent record under Guardiola after beating Sunderland and Stoke City in the Premier League and reaching the Champions League group stage with a 6-0 aggregate playoff victory over Steaua Bucharest.

“Their coach and tactics are different from last year. They play football in the full-back areas, which is not normal,” Bilic added.

“It’s going to be hard of course, they have shown already they have top-class players who have gelled.”