MX23RW : Friday, January 18 08:21:53
Jul 23, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​Ta'Qali National Stadium
Birkirkara
1-0
West HamWest Ham United
Miccoli (14')
Mazzetti (108')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Tomkins (45')
West Ham win 5-3 on penalties

Slaven Bilic: 'Defeat would have been embarrassing'

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic admits that it would have been "embarrassing" had his side lost their Europa League qualifier to minnows Birkirkara.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that it would have been "embarrassing" had his side lost to Birkirkara in Europa League qualifying.

The Hammers needed penalties to see off the Maltese minnows after losing 1-0 on the night in the second leg, with the victory taking them through to the third qualifying round.

Bilic has claimed that the manner of the result will be beneficial to his team for the remainder of the season.

"We didn't sink and to play 120 minutes and be one man down in heat will be good for the boys' confidence in the long term," the Croatian told BBC Sport.

"I didn't expect them to throw the towel in. I have played many times in Europe and you have to cope with it.

"It would have been embarrassing, no matter the heat or that we were without many players, but we overcame the circumstances. This will help us in the matches against the Romanians because we have to learn from this experience."

West Ham will play Romanian side Astra for a place in the competition's group stages.


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Manager of West Ham United Slaven Bilic looks on during the pre season friendly match between Southend United and West Ham United at Roots Hall on July 18, 2015
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