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Bilic cools Premier League links

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic
Bilic is unlikely to be heading to the Premier League anytime soon

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has dismissed speculation he could quit his post to manage in the Premier League.

Bilic is reportedly a target for a number of clubs, including West Ham, where he was a player during 1996-97.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I am flattered to see in the papers that there are some clubs interested in me.

"But on the other hand it gets on my nerves because I have my job to do, and I am not thinking of leaving it. I am 100% focused on my job with Croatia."

Last November, the former Hammers and Everton defender told BBC One's Football Focus that he dreams of being a club manager in the Premier League.

But he insisted he was not thinking about it at that time and, after guiding his team to the Euro 2008 finals, he does not appear to be ready to change his mind yet.

Football is a very physical game, and it has to be

Slaven Bilic

"I will never enjoy a job as much as I enjoy being in charge of Croatia, and I am very proud," he added.

Bilic also revealed he has been in touch with Arsenal's Croatian striker Eduardo, who is recovering from a broken leg suffered in a challenge with Birmingham's Martin Taylor last month.

"Eduardo is ok, although he is badly injured," said Bilic. "I was with him last Friday and he is improving well but still it is early days.

"But he is convinced - he is so strong in his head, he is a great character and a great guy - and I am convinced that he will come back better than he was."

Bilic also reiterated his belief that Taylor's challenge was badly timed rather than malicious and rejected Fifa president Sepp Blatter's recent claims that football can be too aggressive.

"Tackling is a very important part of the game," said Bilic. "Football is a very physical game, and it has to be.

"I agree that we have to protect players from serious injury, like Eduardo's, but if tackling was stopped, football would be the loser."

see also
Bilic targets Premier League job
20 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Fifa to look at Taylor challenge
09 Mar 08 |  Birmingham City
Eduardo intent on swift recovery
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League

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