Bilic - We won't hold Carroll back

Andy Carroll


  • Manager Slaven Bilic has backed Andy Carroll to continue showing the commitment he has been in recent games
  • The Croatian does not believe holding the striker back would serve any purpose
  • Carroll recently made a scoring return to the first team side against Arsenal

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic revealed he has no intentions to hold Andy Carroll back throughout the festive period, with the striker expected to play a crucial role over the busy winter schedule.

The big forward only recent returned to the first team fray, coming on as a late substitute and scoring in the side’s recent Premier League fixture at home to Arsenal.

And since, Carroll has played half an hour against former club Liverpool and started both the Hammers’ recent home wins over Burnley and Hull City.

Ahead of his side’s Boxing Day trip to Swansea City, Bilic explained he has been left with no doubt in his mind, due to recent performances, about what the striker can contribute.

He said: “You always know during the game and during training what you are going to get. You are going to get everything – commitment, quality, impact. He is that kind of a guy and that kind of a player.

“What you don't know is the next day and if he is going to feel something. Nobody expected Andy to play two full games against Burnley and Hull. It was not the plan.

“I spoke to him at half-time and when there were breaks in the second half and he didn't want to come off. We didn't expect it.

Andy feels good in his body and I am delighted. We are monitoring Andy but why should I hold him back?”

Slaven Bilic

Carroll recently made a scoring return against Arsenal

I spoke to him today and he said he feels good. Not in terms of motivation and that has never been an issue. He feels good in his body and I am delighted. We are monitoring Andy but why should I hold him back?”

After picking up a knee injury during the Club’s early season UEFA Europa League qualifier against Astra Giurgiu, Carroll played just once – on the opening day against Chelsea – before his lengthy lay-off.

But it is clear, according to Bilic, that training hard and playing games is now best for the 27-year-old to reach full tilt and the heights he set during a terrific campaign last season.

“We can hold him back in training sometimes and tell him to stay in and do extra work,” the manager continued.

“Maybe before it was always holding him back and that could be one of the reasons why he was getting injured. Unless you are talking about extreme examples you are more likely to get injured if you are not training.

“Of course you have to be cautious with Andy because of his history, but if he is feeling good let's build on that. Why are we thinking negative?

“I was watching Andy playing for Newcastle, Liverpool and West Ham on television. You can see that energy. I can only talk about this season and last season. His first game was against Newcastle and we were winning 2-0 at home but he came on and was like a little kid in the last 15 minutes. He wanted to do everything.

“He was doing in 15 minutes what is normal in 90 minutes. He was doing that either as an impact player or from the start in every game.”