Slaven Bilic has given his press conference ahead of Saturday’s match against Newcastle United.
With four wins in a row and up to fifth in the table, life is good for the West Ham boss, yet ironically he has talked of Newcastle going into this game ‘on a high’.
Slaven Bilic referring to Newcastle’s comeback against Manchester United, rather than no wins in the last six matches…
Again,despite only Swansea and Villa having scored less goals, Bilic claims Newcastle are very dangerous and have ‘many options’ going forward.
Let’s hope he is also right that Newcastle ‘are improving’ and ‘have a very good roster of players’.
With only Aston Villa currently beneath Newcastle, a result against the Hammers is vital, especially with only seven games remaining at St James Park after this one.
On the injury front, Slaven Bilic confirms that Andy Carroll won’t be fit to face Newcastle (or presumably be transferred to tem this month!).
Elsewhere in his squad, the West Ham boss doesn’t report any other new injuries but does unfortunately say that the impressive Cheickhou Kouyate will be available for selection.
Slaven Bilic speaking to the official West Ham website:
You play Newcastle this weekend, what do you make of them? They seem to be an improving side?
“Definitely, they had a slow start but now they are doing OK.
“They are a massive club, they are improving, they have a very good roster of players. Going forward they have many options, they are very dangerous.
“They had a good comeback against Man United so they are on a high. It should be a good game, at a great stadium, so we are really looking forward to it.”
Injury news about Andy Carroll?
“I knew you were going to ask me that! It’s a hamstring injury, it’s one of those injuries that it is hard to tell how long he’ll be out. He’s having a scan later on today so we’ll know more soon. It wasn’t a big one, but it’s not a small one either, hopefully it’s only going to be three and a half weeks or so, not four to six.
“It is a big blow, of course, he was looking good, he was sharp and fully fit. He will be back soon and he won’t lose too much fitness.”
Do you have to make sure he stays positive?
“Yes, but he is a positive lad himself. He was gutted of course, he felt he was back and was enjoying his football. We don’t have to make a big story about it. If everything goes well,he will be back very soon, if it is three weeks then it’s not the end of the world. Then he’ll be back for a very significant part of the season.”
Does this injury have any impact on your plans for the Transfer Window?
“Not big time, no. We are working in the transfer window, but that started before the injury. We are well covered quantity wise, so only if something good comes up then we will act. We don’t need the numbers, and I think that is right. Our players who haven’t featured much have done well when they have played, they started our unbeaten run, I want to give them credit and I believe in them.”
What other injury updates are there?
“Victor Moses is back with us and is available. Cheikhou Kouyate missed the Bournemouth game, he probably could have played, he was about 85% then, but we had the option of resting him. He’s a very physical player, one of the best in the Premier League at what he does, so we didn’t risk him.”