Monday, April 23, 2018

West Ham v Watford: Carroll frustrated by draws as Bilic´s men close in on club record

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Apr 2016


Andy Carroll has urged West Ham to end their run of draws as the club close in on two milestones ahead of their game at home to Watford in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Slaven Bilic’s side have not been beaten at home since August 22, a 14-match unbeaten run at Upton Park which they have the chance to extend to 15 – a mark they have never reached before – against Quique Sanchez Flores’ visitors

West Ham are also on a streak of eight games without defeat in the Premier League and if they add to that this week it will be their best run without a top-flight loss since December 1985.

Five of those eight games have been draws, though, including each of the last four – the most recent being the dramatic encounter at leaders Leicester City on Sunday, which finished 2-2 – much to the frustration of striker Carroll, who had made it 1-1 from the spot.

“It is a good point, but we keep saying that,” Carroll told the club’s website. “When we should have three, it’s not really that good.

“It was a tough game, but we played well. We had a chance early on and it didn’t go in, but we kept on working even when we were one down and eventually got the two goals that we deserved.

“It felt like a defeat. We were disappointed at half-time and we came back second half and took the lead, but we have not been able to hold it.

“We are footballers and when the games come thick and fast, we enjoy it and we are looking forward to Wednesday against Watford.

“It’s nice when you are down to come and fire straight back, but on the day we have got to be able to hold it and not concede.”

There have been a remarkable 23 goals scored in the last five league games West Ham have been involved in, with Bilic’s team both scoring and conceding at least twice in each encounter.

They sit sixth in the table, three points behind Manchester United in fifth and seven adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal with five matches to play.

Watford, meanwhile, are 12th after a crucial 1-0 win at West Brom on Saturday which saw Heurelho Gomes make history, becoming the first goalkeeper to save two penalties in two Premier League matches – keeping out Saido Berahino twice.

The Hornets’ first win in seven league games moved them past the 40-point barrier, which delighted midfielder Ben Watson as their FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace on Sunday moves closer.

“It was a massive three points for us,” he told the club’s website. “Before the game we were sitting on 38 points.

“I think in the back of people’s minds you can still go down with 38 points, but to break that and get 41 on the board with a semi-final to come, it’s been an incredible season so far. 

“But we have achieved nothing. It’s been an incredible season, but it could be a special season.

“We have got another game Wednesday and then the semi-final Sunday, but our next game is an important one. If we can win that or get something there then great and then we will enjoy the semi-final.”

West Ham will check on the status of Diafra Sakho (knee) prior to the match, while Watford hope to have Almen Abdi (illness), Craig Cathcart and Jose Holebas (both knocks) available.


Key Opta Stats:

– West Ham have won just one of their last seven matches against Watford in all competitions (W1 D2 L4).
– Watford have scored just seven goals in their last 13 Premier League games and have averaged just three shots on target per game in this period (39 shots on target overall).
– The Hornets have already won twice as many league away games this season (6) as in their two previous Premier League campaigns combined (3 in 1999-00 and 2006-07 combined).
– Dimtri Payet needs one more goal to become just the second West Ham midfielder to score 10+ goals in a Premier League season, after Kevin Nolan in 2012-13.
– Andy Carroll has scored eight Premier League goals this season; his best return since 2010-11 (13). Indeed, Carroll has netted five goals in his last four league games.
– Just seven different players have scored a goal for Watford in the Premier League this season (excl. own goals) – the lowest spread of any team in the competition.


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