Wednesday 22 July 2015 8:08 pm

West Ham: Bilic admits Europa League life made difficult by poor first leg

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admitted that his side have made Europa League progress unnecessarily difficult for themselves after only securing a narrow first-leg lead against Maltese minnows Birkirkara.
The Hammers head into tonight’s Europa League second qualifying round second leg against Malta’s cup winners with a 1-0 aggregate lead, following a last-gasp winner from defender James Tomkins at Upton Park last week. 
But despite that setback, Bilic, who has named a strong squad for the clash, believes a solitary away goal should be enough to seal progress. Victory would mean West Ham have a further two rounds to navigate in order to reach the competition’s group stages.
“The score was not ideal. We were hoping to have one more goal but I wouldn’t dream it was going to be an easy game,” said BIlic.
“We should have scored earlier, but in the end we had a positive result and it should be enough if we score.”
West Ham, meanwhile, made their seventh signing of the close season yesterday by agreeing a deal for Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini on a season-long loan from United Arab Emirates club Al Jazira.