West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has admitted that Newcastle United deserved their 2-1 victory over his side at St James' Park this afternoon.
Goals from Ayoze Perez and Georginio Wijnaldum saw the Magpies race into a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes, and the Hammers were unable to recover despite pulling one back through Nikica Jelavic in the opening minutes of the second half.
It ended a nine-match unbeaten streak for West Ham while also handing Newcastle their first win in seven, and Bilic was unable to explain why his side made such a slow start to the game.
"We prepared for the game all week and had a good warm-up and everything, so I thought we were going to start better because we were the team that should have started with more confidence than them because we were up in the table, we were unbeaten for a number of games," Bilic told reporters.
"They have improved a lot recently, but still they were down and we were counting on the confidence to be on our side. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. We have to give them credit, Newcastle, who started bright and good and everything, but definitely we helped them in that. In the second half, we can talk about positive things. We can talk about good spirit, turning the game a little bit around, scoring a goal and then putting them under pressure and having a few chances at the end of the game.
"We had a great chance to equalise. Also they had chances in the second half on the counter-attack as we took that risk, so we could have nicked a point and it wouldn't be the first time. But to be fair, we have to admit, unfortunately, that they were better and they deserved to beat us, they deserved three points especially with their performance in the first half."
West Ham will look to return to winning ways when they host Manchester City at Upton Park next Saturday.