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Randolph insists under-pressure Bilic has complete backing of Hammers players

Published 26/11/2016

Darren Randolph has the chance to prove he can be West Ham's first-choice goalkeeper
Darren Randolph has the chance to prove he can be West Ham's first-choice goalkeeper

Darren Randolph insists West Ham's players are totally behind under-pressure manager Slaven Bilic.

Croatian boss Bilic is feeling the heat with the Hammers, who finished seventh last season, languishing near the foot of the table.

The picture could look even bleaker this time next month after a tough run of fixtures, starting at Manchester United on Sunday before a visit from Arsenal and a trip to Liverpool.

But goalkeeper Randolph insists Bilic should not carry the can and said: " We are 100 per cent behind him.

"There were no problems last year when we were winning games and we're not going to turn our backs on him now.

"We are all together and there is no issue here with the manager."

Bilic has dropped regular keeper Adrian following some costly blunders and finally handed Republic of Ireland international Randolph, who joined the Hammers from Birmingham in May 2015, the chance to prove he can be number one.

"I am delighted to get the opportunity and to be playing in the games that we have coming up," added the 29-year-old.

"I knew I would have to be patient when I first arrived. It's been a long wait but now I'm just going to enjoy it.

"I knew when I came how it was going to be. I obviously backed myself for the challenge. I could have stayed in the Championship, but I wanted to challenge myself."

While Randolph may help solve West Ham's problems at the back, Andy Carroll could return to boost their shot-shy attack at Old Trafford.

A damning statistic is that no Hammers striker has found the net yet this term, with summer signings Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri proving huge disappointments so far.

But Andre Ayew, Diafra Sakho and now Carroll are back from long spells out injured to hopefully remove some of West Ham's 'anxiety' in front of goal.

"They score in training, so I'm not sure why not in games," said Randolph.

"We've had a few injuries and now have players just coming back. It's just one of those things. Anxiety can affect the whole team.

"When things aren't going so well you sometimes second guess yourself and perhaps pass a ball you wouldn't have passed last year. It has an effect.

"Last season the confidence was massive and that definitely got us through.

"The manager has always said not to let that little bit of doubt creep in and don't lose confidence.

"We are no lesser team than we were last year. We are still the same set of players in the main."

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