Developing a winning habit at the Olympic Stadium will ease the pain of leaving the Boleyn Ground and help West Ham United settle at their new home, manager Slaven Bilic has said.
West Ham left Boleyn Ground, their home for 112 years, at the end of last season after agreeing a 99-year lease with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to rent the 60,000-seater stadium for a reported 2.5 million pounds ($3.32 million) per season.
The club will play their first competitive game at the new home, the venue of the 2012 London Olympics, against Slovenian side NK Domzale in the Europa League third qualifying round on Thursday.
“It doesn’t feel like a home game, it can’t feel like that but it’s not an away game also,” Bilic told British media. “I think the pitch is the same size and I’m sure that we’re going to feel at home.
“The message to the players is to put on a performance and bring the stadium alive. I’m sure if we play good very soon this is going to become the home ground.
“The wins reduce the time that is necessary to adjust.”
West Ham, who finished seventh in the Premier League last season, open their new campaign with a London derby against Chelsea on Aug. 15.