The time is now for Slaven Bilic to reward West Ham's EFL Cup heroes

Danny Murphy

There comes a time when a manager has to take a decisive step to save his job - and for Slaven Bilic, that time is now.

In the second half against Spurs at Wembley, West Ham played with energy and fought for their manager.

They tried to make life better for him, and they did. Even though they had a bit of luck, it was admirable.

Bilic has to reward the players who did the job for him against Tottenham. He can’t make nine changes again, because those who played in the Carabao Cup will be really despondent. They’ll think: "Is he taking the mick?"

West Ham don’t have too many players who are performing so well that they are guaranteed a place. I would always have Manuel Lanzini in there, and he showed why with his second-half display at Wembley.

Roy Hodgson will not be too worried by Palace’s 4-1 defeat by Bristol City in midweek. If anything, it will have helped to make up his mind about certain fringe players.

Palace don’t need the distraction of the Carabao Cup. They need as many clear weeks as possible to prepare for league games.

Palace would have felt the world was against them after the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, because they played well and didn’t deserve to lose.

But if they can play with the same zest and pace as they did when they beat Chelsea 2-1, there is no way they will go down.