France star Dimitri Payet has revealed that he is grateful to West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic after he received the Hammer of the Year Award.
The 29-year-old has been the Hammers’ driving force this season after joining the English club from Olympique de Marseille last summer.
Payet has thus far netted 12 times and provided 13 assists in 36 appearances in all competitions for the Irons outfit this season.
He has played a vital role in helping Bilic’s man reach the sixth spot in the league and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they were knocked out by Manchester United last month.
And Payet, who thinks the Croatian tactician deserves the credit for turning him into a better footballer.
“Of course, it’s a huge honour and a defining moment for me at the club,” Payet told West Ham TV.
“It’s an award that recognises the hard work I have put in, and I’m very happy about it.
“I didn’t think I would adapt this quickly, to be honest.
“I thought it would be harder, but with the fabulous teammates that I have, and the manager and coaching staff, the settling in period were easier than expected.
“Slaven Bilic is very important for me and my confidence.
“He has done everything possible to help me to blossom as a player, and when I suffered an injury and had a difficult time, he was the first person to come to my house and check up on me.
“My form has been down to all the squad, the coaches, and the medical staff, but I would like to personally thank the manager for all the help and support he has given me.”
Payet, whose present contract with West Ham runs until 2021, is expected to represent France in the European Championship in his homeland in the summer. He has 17 caps and two goals for France to his name.