Slaven Bilic says those fans who have subjected Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren to death threats should be “ashamed of themselves”.
Lovren has come under fire for his recent performances – particularly after he was substituted during the first half of Liverpool’s defeat at Spurs a fortnight ago.
The 28-year-old has even been on the receiving end of online death threats to his family from internet trolls.
Ahead of West Ham’s clash against Liverpool this weekend, Bilic – who handed Lovren his Croatia debut back in 2009 – believes the centre-half has been unfairly singled out and has backed him to turn his form around.
Lovren shared this, this morning – if you're one of these people who makes threats – go find another club to follow ? pic.twitter.com/tg5eEVEYVy
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) October 31, 2017
Bilic said: “Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I’m naive but I think even those people who did it didn’t mean it seriously.
“They weren’t joking – it’s a bad, bad way of expressing that they’re not happy with the way he played.
“But that shouldn’t be there. Those people should be ashamed of themselves, big time.
“I’m very, very disappointed with the treatment he has received.
“He’s a very good player. He’s more than a centre-back. He never hides on the pitch. He’s always there.
“A lot of mistakes, sometimes he’s making up for somebody else’s mistakes. It’s not easy to play centre-back at Liverpool because of where they stand.”