West Ham striker set to miss Watford showdown
PUBLISHED: 09:30 24 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:25 24 February 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic says Andy Carroll is doubtful for the trip to Vicarage Road
West Ham striker Andy Carroll is set to miss their Premier League trip to Watford through injury tomorrow (Saturday).
The 28-year-old missed the West Brom clash with a groin injury, but was expected to return at Vicarage Road after travelling with the squad to Dubai for warm weather training.
However, manager Slaven Bilic revealed that things have not gone to plan for the in-form Carroll, who has scored four goals in his last four games.
“He was part of the squad in Dubai, but unfortunately things have gone a little bit slower with him,” said Bilic.
“We were expecting him to train in Dubai, but things have gone slowly, but he will run today (Thursday) and then if he is good, maybe he has got a chance to be in the squad for Watford.”
It does not seem very plausible and if he is selected it is only likely to be as a substitute, but Bilic refused to say that Carroll will not play at Vicarage Road.
“I don’t want to rule him out, but to be fair it is Thursday and he hasn’t trained since he got injured, but you never know.
“This is not a big injury, but he needs to play, if not tomorrow (Saturday), then definitely Chelsea,” said Bilic.
Carroll is the only selection headache for the manager going into the game as West Ham look to avenge their embarrassing 4-2 home defeat by the Hornets.
“Aaron Cresswell is good, he is training and looks sharp,” added Bilic.
“Robert Snodgrass missed training yesterday because he had diarrhoea, but he is back in.
“Diafra Sakho is very happy now. He has been running so hopefully his back problems which were causing hamstring trouble are now fixed.
“In a few weeks time he is going to start to train with us and if he stays fit he is going to be like a great new signing for us.”
He continued: “Arthur Masuaku started training before Dubai and he is looking sharp and is looking really good, so we have options now in every position.
“Angelo Ogbonna is recovering really good. The surgeon didn’t have to do as much as he expected, so it is good.”
Andre Ayew is also back in the frame for the Watford game after returning from an Africa Cup of Nations campaign with Ghana.
West Ham overturned a heavy home defeat against Southampton by winning at St Mary’s and Bilic wants to emulate that at Vicarage Road this weekend.
“We are a different team,” he said. “We have the same players, but a lot of things have changed.
“At the beginning of September we had injuries and a lot of people came in who were only just fit, but we had to play them as we had no other options.
“Now it is totally different, I see the difference on the training field, in the canteen and on the coach, we are in a much better shape now.”
They are, but without Carroll they are missing that vital ingredient.
Hopefully the rest of the team can make up for it.
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