Slaven Speaks - Newcastle United

The manager faced the media ahead of Saturday's game with the Magpies
Ahead of the Hammers trip to Newcastle United Slaven Bilic held his weekly pre-match press conference.

During the briefing, the manager answered a range of questions on Andy Carroll, the transfer window and facing the Magpies.

Morning Slaven, can we start with injury news about Andy Carroll?

SB: “I knew you were going to ask me that! It’s a hamstring injury, it’s one of those injuries that it is hard to tell how long he’ll be out. He’s having a scan later on today so we’ll know more soon. It wasn’t a big one, but it’s not a small one either, hopefully it’s only going to three and a half weeks or so, not four to six.

“It’s a big blow, of course, he was looking good, he was sharp and fully fit. He’ll be back soon and he won’t lose too much fitness.”

Do you have to make sure he stays positive?

SB: “Yes, but he is a positive lad himself. He was gutted of course, he felt he was back and he was enjoying his football. We don’t have to make a big story about it. If everything goes well he will be back very soon, if it is three weeks then it’s not the end of the world. Then he’ll be back for a very significant part of the season.”

Does this injury have any impact on your plans for the Transfer Window?

SB: “Not big time, no. We are working in the transfer window, but that started before the injury. We are well covered quantity wise, so only if something good comes up then we’ll act. We don’t need the numbers, and I think that is right. Our players who haven’t featured much have done well when they have played, they started our unbeaten run, I want to give them credit and I believe in them.”

We’ve heard about Andy Carroll, what other injury updates are there?

SB: “Victor Moses is back with us, he is available. Cheikhou Kouyate missed the Bournemouth game, he probably could have played, he was about 85% then, but we had the option of resting him. He is a very physical player, one of the best in the Premier League at what he does, so we didn’t risk him.”

You play Newcastle this weekend, what do you make of them? They seem to be an improving side?

SB: “Definitely, they had a slow start but now they are doing OK. They are a massive club, they are improving, they have a very good roster of players. Going forward they have many options, they are very dangerous. They had a good comeback against Man United so they are on a high. It should be a good game, at a great stadium so we are really looking forward to it.”