Four face fitness race

Winston Reid


  • Andy Carroll, Sofiane Feghouli, Sam Byram and Winston Reid all hoping to shake off knocks
  • Carroll suffered whiplash injury but Slaven Bilic is optimistic he will be fit to face Middlesbrough
  • Feghouli, Byram and Reid all trained with the first-team squad on Thursday

Slaven Bilic is hopeful of naming an unchanged squad for the Premier League trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The Hammers will again be without Dimitri Payet, while Cheikhou Kouyate and Andre Ayew are at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Alvaro Arbeloa, Arthur Masuaku, Havard Nordtveit, Diafra Sakho and Gokhan Tore are injured.

Bilic revealed in his Thursday press conference that Crystal Palace goalscorers Andy Carroll and Sofiane Feghouli are both carrying knocks, while defenders Winston Reid and Sam Byram also picked up minor injuries in the 3-0 win over the Eagles. However, the boss is confident all four will be fit to face Boro at the Riverside Stadium.

Byram, Reid and Feghouli all trained at Rush Green on Thursday, while Carroll worked on an individual basis and is expected to return to the squad on Friday.

“Andy has got a bit of a whiplash injury,” said the manager. “That’s what I have been told by the physios, so I went to a dictionary to find out what that is!

“He has a sore neck so hopefully he’s going to be OK. It was at the end of the game [and not when he scored his scissor kick goal]. He trained on Tuesday and was brilliant in training, but then he reported some neck pain, but hopefully he’s going to be OK.

“We have a few with knocks – Andy, Winston Reid has a painful one and Sam Byram has a knock on his knee and it was swollen and he missed training on Wednesday, but he will train on Thursday and he should be OK.

“Also Sofiane Feghouli missed training on Wednesday because of a minor problem with his Achilles, but I’m very optimistic that all of them are going to be fit for the game on Saturday.”