PLENTY has happened since James Briscoe led his West Ham side to a thrilling 4-4 draw in his first match in charge of the east Londoners.
The world class manager, 49, rallied his troops to earn their first win in nine games against Middlesbrough in his second Premier League game, on November 22, lifting the Hammers up to 14th after 12 games.
Despite a slow start to this 2036/37 season, Briscoe’s boys are performing better in the Europa League, qualifying for the First Knockout Round with a game in hand. United could only draw away to mouthful, Zeljeznicar, from Bosnia who last won their top domestic title in 2013.
It was a disappointing result for the travellers and Briscoe said: “Tonight’s result is a bit of a wake up call. We really should be dominating sides like them – sorry I can’t pronounce it – it’s a reality check because since I took over, we’ve improved every day in training and bagged a pleasing win against Middlesbrough at the weekend.
“It just shows we still have plenty of improving to do but it’s great to qualifying for the next round of the competition and gives us something to look forward to in between Premier League games.”
Zeljeznicar skipper, Ivan Jurcevic, scored the opener on 11 minutes from a simple deep cross. The striker looked as if he could not believe his luck.
Bruce Taylor-Crossdale equalised on 77 minutes when the Hammers must have thought they would never score. It was hard to separate the teams despite West Ham’s arguably better quality so the Bosnians deserve credit. The home goalkeeper, Manuel Suskovic was in fact the player of the match.