Kehrer could make Conference League debut

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 17th August 2022

Billy McKinlay says that Thilo Kehrer could make his West Ham debut against Viborg in Thursday night's Conference League play-off tie against Viborg FF at the London Olympic Stadium.

The German international completed his move to West Ham earlier today and is therefore eligible to feature against the Danes tomorrow.

And McKinlay, standing in for manager David Moyes who will be observing a touchline ban following his dismissal in the second leg of last season's Europa League second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt, revealed that a decision was yet to be made with regards to his inclusion in the team.

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"We’ll see how he settles in, get a bit of feedback from him and see how he feels over the next 24 hours," McKinley told the media at the pre-match press conference. He trained a little bit with us this morning.

"He’s played predominately for the national team at full-back and centre-back for PSG last season, so we feel we have a really good acquisition for the squad. He will be able to add to us in a number of areas.

"He has good experience, is versatile and has played at a high level with Germany and PSG so he will bring a lot to us. We’re looking forward to working with him."

And the reason for potentially including Kehrer is that Craig Dawson - like Angelo Ogbonna and fellow centre back Nayef Aguerd - remains unavailable for selection.

"Craig Dawson still has a bit of problem with his quad," confirmed the coach. "Hopefully he will be back soon."

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Moyes will be in stands tomorrow night after being sent off against Frankfurt

Also missing the tie will be skipper Declan Rice, who like Moyes was sanctioned as a result of his behaviour in Germany - which McKinlay admitted was a major loss. As will be Aaron Cresswell, who was sent off during the first half of the same match.

"It [Declan's absence] is a big blow," he confirmed. "It’s disappointing but we’ll have to overcome it and we have a number of players who can come in and do a good job.

"Aaron Cresswell is suspended as well and he normally takes over [the captaincy], so that will be a decision we take closer to the game."

And McKinlay admitted that nobody in the camp would be taking opponents Viborg for granted, even though the Hammers are overwhelming favourites to win the two-legged affair.

"We’ve been glued to the video since Nottingham Forest, so we’ll deal with it as we do any other game," he said. "There will be no complacency from anyone at the club and we know we will have to play well to get a result."

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