West Ham proving they don’t need Dimitri Payet, says Slaven Bilic

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The Hammers lost their most highly rated player to Marseille in January but have won three of four league games since he was dropped from the team

Slaven Bilic has hailed the response his West Ham side have produced in the weeks after losing Dimitri Payet to Marseille.

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Payet refused to play for the Hammers in January as he looked to force through a move to the Ligue 1 side, eventually getting his wish in a £25 million deal.

A number of West Ham players have spoken of a greater togetherness in the dressing room in the wake of the Frenchman’s departure, and Bilic has praised his side for not ‘sinking’ without the guile and creativity of the one-time Irons icon.

Thanks in part to the goalscoring form of Andy Carroll, they have won three of their four Premier League games since Payet was taken out of the team.

“The team have responded,” Bilic told West Ham’s official website. “We lost a great player, but these things happen in football. The team have reacted in the best possible way.

“The boys have shown in those difficult situations that we aren’t going to sink, we’re not going to crumble. We had to take more responsibility as an individual and as a team, and that’s happened.”

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Now ninth in the Premier League table after an upturn in form, West Ham face West Brom, Watford and league leaders Chelsea in the coming weeks.

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