Slaven Speaks – Manchester United

Manager Slaven Bilic hosted his pre-Manchester United press conference on Tuesday morning, where he discussed the Boleyn Ground's final FA Cup tie, an important week for West Ham United, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho...

Slaven, can you please sum up what Wednesday evening's Emirates FA Cup sixth-round replay with Manchester United - the final FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground - means to West Ham United?

"It’s the final FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground, it’s Manchester United and it’s the quarter-finals, so it can’t be any bigger an occasion. We are of course fully motivated and want to go through.

"We have played them twice this season at Old Trafford and drawn both games. Now, it’s the first time we will play them at home and it’s an important game. We then play them at home in the final Premier League game here, which will also be massive.

"Wednesday's game is massive for them and massive for us. OK, they lost their last game 3-0 but they are Manchester United and they have great players.

"For their standards, of course, they’ve not been very consistent but they are still above us in the table, and they are very capable of beating any team on their day."

You played Arsenal on Saturday and go to leaders Leicester City in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday, so do you have those games in mind when you select your team on Wednesday?

"We got to Leicester City on Sunday in the Premier League, and I have said before we have a big week, but we take it game-by-game and we didn’t think about this game before the Arsenal game.

"When we make the team selection, we take this game on its own. Of course, we know we have to play the other games but that is not affecting our selection or the way we are training or resting and all that.

"When it comes to the games, in the position we are in, we cannot prioritise and we are going to put everything we can into every game. We will pick the best team we can."

Can you believe how well things have gone this season?

"It has been a long season, one which began on 2 July, but we had always planned to be in this position if possible. That is the reason why we are in these jobs – to finish as high as possible, to win as many games as we can. We have done all right.

"All that we were doing in the pre-season and during the season was to put us in the best-possible position and we’re playing well.

"We know the competition is strong in the Premier League so you never know what is round the corner, but we’ve coped with it well so far. We’ve reached the hardest part in the league and in the FA Cup, but we’re going to give everything to take it all."

How do you reflect now on Andy Carroll's hat-trick performance against Arsenal on Saturday?

"Andy Carroll did brilliant for us on Saturday against Arsenal. My opinion on him is that when he is fit and on form, he is a very special kind of player. He brings you something that very few players can.

"He is different, he is hard to cope with and hard to deal with, and he has done really well for us every time he has been fit. He doesn’t have to score, because his presence on the pitch gives us another dimension."

Finally, what is the situation with regard to Diafra Sakho?

"The situation with Diafra Sakho is very simple. He reported an injury after training on Friday and was not in the squad for Arsenal. He had a scan on Monday and it reported a little bit of a problem, so he is out for hopefully not more than one week. We hope to have him back on Monday."