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Carroll a major doubt for Watford test

Filed: Thursday, 23rd February 2017
By: Staff Writer

Andy Carroll looks likely to miss this weekend's trip to Watford after Slaven Bilic admitted the striker's recovery from his latest injury was taking longer than expected.

And Bilic's frustration was almost palpable as he described how he is set to be without his only fully fit, first team striker once again when West Ham make the short trip to Hertfordshire on Saturday.

"He was part of the squad that went to Dubai last week, but unfortunately he is recovering a little bit slower than we expected," Bilic, speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning revealed.

"I was expecting him to train in Dubai but it's a bit slower than we hoped for. Regarding the game against Watford, he'll run today and then if he's good, maybe's he's got a chance to be in the squad for Saturday.

"I don't want to rule him but it's Thursday and he's not trained since that game he got injured in. But with Andy you never know, we'll see if he can run today and if he can train tomorrow then maybe he'll be in the squad for Saturday."

Bilic - who will look to either Michail Antonio or the returning Andre Ayew as replacement for Carroll, should he indeed fail to make a swift recovery - also shrugged off a question regarding Carroll's desire and determination to stay fit.

"All I've said about Andy I can only repeat; when he's playing, when he's fit he's a top striker," he added.

"As far as I know, he's looking after himself. Ok, he didn't train yesterday but he was in the gym working hard for an hour-and-a-half. He's a big lad and he gives everything - he's not the one who is calculating in games or training, but he's looking after himself.

"But I told him in Dubai - and again yesterday - that those small things which are ruining, damaging or affecting his wisdom are no good for him, no good for us and no good for a call-up to the England squad.

"A very similar thing happened last year; he was great at the beginning of the season against Southampton and Liverpool - he slaughtered them - and then got injured against Bournemouth and didn't play for a few weeks.

"This is not a big injury but he needs to play and he needs to be available. It'd be great of he was available for Saturday but if not then, definitely for Chelsea."

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