Slaven Speaks - Crystal Palace

Ahead of the Hammers' game with the Eagles, Slaven Bilic faced the press
Ahead of the Hammers’ trip to south London to face Crystal Palace, Slaven Bilic faced the media.

During his pre-match press conference, the boss answered a range of questions on team news, the Eagles and maintaining the Hammers’ unbeaten run...

Good morning Slaven, what’s the team news ahead of the London derby with Crystal Palace, there were some good news about Enner Valencia, Angelo Ogbonna and Andy Carroll?

SB: "Of course I am very pleased, they are very important players. Thankfully Andy’s injury wasn’t too bad, we didn’t risk him against Sunderland but he’s back now. The other two have been out for longer so we needed to be more patient but they are back in training and looking good.

"Enner played 20 minutes in the friendly against Reading and looked really good, he’s been out for a while so he still needs a few weeks. But when I see him in training he does things that make you think ’maybe he could 10 minutes on Saturday’, but I think it’ll be two weeks until he’s fully ready."  
Any news on Alex Song, how long do you expect him to be out for?

SB: "Two weeks maybe, maximum three. He’s working hard and we’re looking forward to having him back, he’s a fantastic player."
And Aaron Cresswell and Winston Reid?

SB: "They’re not too serious thank God, but we will have to wait. We will assess them in training today and tomorrow and then make a decision if they’re available for the Palace game."
Sam Allardyce has spoken about the West Ham Way, do you feel under pressure to play a certain style?

SB: "
As a West Ham player and West Ham manager the fans always want us to play good football. They were always clapping when we did well and really got behind us. We went through a bad run in 1996/97 and got some stick but that is the same from all fans.

"Now I feel that they are really behind us, they are really with us. We feel them home and away, they are great fans, of course."

Sam Allardyce this week has been critical of Andy Carroll work ethic, what do you make of Carroll’s effort since you arrived?

SB: "I heard what he said, when I arrived Andy was injured but he’s been working unbelievably hard to get fit. He’s a great professional, it’s hard when you’re working on your own every day but he did it. Since I’ve been here, in training and during his rehabilitation, he’s been top class."

Dimitri Payet has been vocal about French manager Didier Deschamps, do you think he should be in the national team?

SB: "It’s hard when you don’t know the full situation. I know as a national manager, that it can be hard to select everyone. France have a wide pool to choose from, a lot of quality players. If you ask me do they have many players like Dimitri, then maybe not. There aren’t many players like him and I think he could fit into any national side in the world.

"Not only his quality on the pitch but off it too. He’s a quiet guy and quite shy but everyone likes working with him and he’s a great guy."
Where are Crystal Palace’s main threats going to come from?

SB: "They are good in every department, they are compact but also great on the counter attack. They have great players who can make an impact instantly, out of nothing, so we need to aware of that. They have a good squad depth, and every player likes to get on the ball and get behind the defence. Great credit to Alan Pardew, he’s done a great job and Palace are now a very dangerous and difficult team to play. I’m sure it’ll be a great game and a very difficult test for us."