West Ham United v Manchester United: Slaven Bilic savours perfect farewell to FA Cup football at the Boleyn Ground

Frank Dalleres
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West Ham United v FC Lusitans - UEFA Europa League
Slaven Bilic's West Ham take a 16-match unbeaten home run into the United replay (Source: Getty)

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic insists Wednesday's quarter-final replay against Manchester United is the perfect way to bring down the curtain on FA Cup action at the Boleyn Ground.

The Hammers have just four fixtures left at their home of 112 years before relocating to the Olympic Stadium and, regardless of the result, the visit of United will be the last in this competition.

A clash between the Premier League’s fifth and sixth placed teams promises to be competitive, although Bilic’s side boast a 16-game unbeaten run at home that dates back to August.

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“It’s the final FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground, it’s Manchester United and it’s the quarter-finals, so it can’t be any bigger an occasion,” he said.

“We are fully motivated and want to go through. We have played them twice this season at Old Trafford and drawn both games. Now, it’s the first time we will play them at home and it’s an important game. We then play them at home in the final Premier League game here, which will also be massive.”

Bilic denied suggestions of a bust-up with striker Diafra Sakho, insisting the striker’s absence from Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal and this evening’s match was down to a training injury.

He also warned his team not to underestimate United, who suffered a demoralising 3-0 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday but could have England captain Wayne Rooney back from injury.

“Wednesday’s game is massive for them and massive for us. OK, they lost their last game 3-0 but they are Manchester United and they have great players,” he added.

“For their standards, of course, they’ve not been very consistent but they are still above us in the table, and they are very capable of beating any team on their day.”

Rooney played 61 minutes for United’s under-21s against Middlesbrough on Monday, his first competitive appearance since sustaining a knee injury in February that has seen him miss 12 club games.

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