Bilic - Carroll is a special player

Slaven Bilic had nothing but praise for Andy Carroll and says he is a special player

Slaven Bilic had nothing but praise for Andy Carroll and says he is a special player after he scored the crucial match winner against Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground.

Carroll scored his first Premier League goal since January with a crucial header on 79 minutes and put months of disappointment behind him with one of his best moments in a claret and blue shirt.

The Hammers striker has worked hard behind the scenes throughout the summer to regain full fitness and was in most days during the off-season.

Bilic has no doubts he can become a major player for both club and country again this season and says he offers so much to the first-team.

Bilic said: “Andy is a big player for us, and also for England. He is special.

“He gives us a lot of options. It’s not just long balls, he is a great player, his quality has never been in doubt. We just needed to get him fit.

“Now we are in a really good situation regarding his fitness and he should be fit and ready for the long-term.

“We will have a lot of benefits from having him fit. It is not just his work inside the box but also his contribution outside the box.

“His pressing was amazing; his work-rate was excellent. He occupied Terry and Cahill very well.”

Bilic has nothing but praise for his players after they followed up victories over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City with another memorable win over the Premier League champions.

Bilic added: “There are always lots to talk about after 90 minutes of football. I am very proud of my club and my team.

“It was brilliant to beat the champions, it’s a great feeling. There is nothing wrong in admitting that we are playing really good. We deserved to win.

"We want to continue to play well and if we defend as a unit and attack as a team we have a chance to win every game. We are very happy.

“Every win is important. It is about the home wins and when you do it against the champions."