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A heroic effort to almost rescue an unlikely point against Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime did little to disperse the dark clouds circling Slaven Bilić at West Ham.

The Croatian's position at the London Stadium has come under increasing pressure in recent months and there seems no let up in the scrutiny, despite improved performances on the field.

Bilić knows how it goes in his line of work. It's a results business and once a manager is placed in danger, the narrative can so often lead to a long kiss goodbye.

The Hammers boss was granted an extended stay of execution at the back end of last season, with a 1-0 victory over Spurs persuading the West Ham hierarchy to stick by their man.

But three successive league defeats to kick off the new campaign ensured a return to normality and dealing with terms such as “under-fire” or “beleaguered”.

In such a perilous situation, even positives are greeted with senses of relief and respite.

Bilic could ill-afford to rest on his laurels after beating Huddersfield Town earlier this month and gaining a much-deserved point at West Bromwich Albion the week after.

The poignant dark clouds never truly cleared and rolled back over east London again following defeat to one of West Ham's fiercest rivals.

And while a large proportion of the blame must be directed at the players for the way they capitulated following Harry Kane's opener on Saturday, Bilic's retreat on the tactics front was worrying to say the least.

The loss of the instrumental Michail Antonio to injury forced Bilić's hand and instead of opting for Andre Ayew or Diafra Sakho to retain West Ham's compactness, the Croatian reached out to Andy Carroll.

His decision soon backfired. The midfield dropped deeper, inviting pressure and allowed the creative influences of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli to roam free.

And with Javier Hernandez forced out wide, the Hammers lost their ability to get in behind the Spurs back-line and their subsequent goal-threat was extinguished.

While Bilic cannot legislate for Carroll's mistake which led to Kane's opener, the oversight on tactics is something he cannot shy away from.

Although the final 3-2 scoreline looked tight on paper, the sheer facts were that the Hammers had flirted with humiliation and were indebted to Serge Aurier's stupidity in avoiding a result which may have had far greater consequences.

But this isn't a new situation Bilic finds himself in.

It must be credited that his reign in charge of the Hammers has coincided with monumental change from within the club.

Out of his hands, the decision to leave Upton Park for the new flush surroundings of the London Stadium has generated diverse opinion amongst supporters.

Some will never quite grasp the owners' reasons for deciding to move and will be quick to jump on any negativity surrounding the football club.

Therefore, Bilic's position to that particular group of fans will always remain untenable.

It's fair to say that this weekend's clash with Swansea City is already shaping up to be a must-win for the Croatian tactician.

His enigmatic touchline demeanour will only appease the fans so much and positive results are the only desirable thing that will preserve his reign.

One win in six league games represents a poor start but Bilic's experience in these situations should stand him in good stead.

Last season the Hammers entertained the Swans off the back of a winless run stretching back fives games and the real possibility of being sucked into a relegation battle was beginning to dawn.

Cheikhou Kouyate's wonder-strike earned the Londoners a vital three points that day and proved to be the springboard they so desperately needed to clamber away from any impending trouble.

We might be at a completely different stage of the season this time round, but the consequences a defeat could have may prove just as damming.

With star forward Antonio sidelined until after the international break, Bilic will be ill-advised to adopt similar tactics to those that proved so inept against Spurs.

Manuel Lanzini may provide Bilic with a much-needed boost on his return from injury and will add his creative spark in midfield.

It's time for the West Ham boss to come up trumps again and reach deep down in search of another morale-boosting win, which may just extend his stay in east London just that little bit longer.

Premier League