Tuesday, October 17, 2017

West Ham boss Bilic calms Carroll fitness fears amid England talk

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Feb 2017

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West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is not fearful over a return of Andy Carroll’s fitness woes after the striker missed training this week with a groin problem.

Carroll could still feature when West Brom visit London Stadium on Saturday and has been in a rich vein of form, scoring four goals his last four Premier League appearances.

The 28-year-old England international has only played 12 top-flight games this term and has been dogged a succession of serious injuries since making his loan move from Liverpool to West Ham permanent in 2013.

As such, Bilic was keen to allay worries over Carroll’s physical state since his latest return to action, which came in December after a four-month knee injury lay-off.

“This is the only week that he didn’t train with us since he came back from an injury that ruled him out for a long time,” he said.

“He trained basically 80 or 90 per cent of the sessions.

“For me that is the key. Of course you have to find a balance for every player and he has a history of injuries

“The players have to train to maintain fitness and train to prevent injuries.

“If the player is match fit and he trains for three or four weeks and plays three or four games then there is no harm if he rests, even the whole week, and with Andy that is the case.”

England boss Gareth Southgate is set to attend West Ham’s match this weekend and Bilic would welcome a return to the international fold for his leading forward.

“That is the biggest proof that he’s in good form, especially when it’s happening to mature players like Andy,” he added of the 28-year-old.

“He will take that only as another boost of confidence.”

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