Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Lacked Aggression, Confidence and Drive I Will Not Accept That

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We Lacked Aggression, Confidence and Drive I Will Not Accept That

Article excerpt

Byline: Slaven Bilic

TWO matches into my first Premier League season as a manager and already there have been highs, lows, a red card for our goalkeeper and now an injury to a player in training.

Mauro Zarate was hurt, more on that elsewhere in this column, and with Adrian now banned I must make two changes for Saturday's game with Bournemouth.

This League is exactly as I expected; demanding, physical, very competitive but also very individual.

Every side are fighting for the ball, closing you down so, on the one hand, you need to work hard as a team but you also need individuals who can break that hold and win you games.

Whether it is Sergio Aguero, Philippe Coutinho, Dimitri Payet or Christian Benteke, you need this talent. That is why clubs want to buy these type of players for crazy money because if you don't have one or more of them, you will struggle to create more chances than your opponents.

These special players are not only strikers or No10s who find the spaces they can be central defenders, goalkeepers, holding midfielders or players who have a presence and inspire teams with their leadership.

After our opening win over Arsenal, we were very disappointed to lose to Leicester City last weekend.

I don't like to look for excuses. We were beaten because of our performance in the first half.

When you are two goals down in the Premier League it is very difficult to recover maybe once in 10 games you can do that but it's very hard.

We did well for the first 10 minutes but I was very disappointed with the rest of the first half. Leicester were quicker to the second ball, they were more aggressive, had more confidence and awareness, and were more determined to win the ball.

They played very well. Okay, it was simple football but they were very productive and it's been that way for them in the last 11 games, credit to them. …

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