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Swansea planning for Andy Carroll inclusion for West Ham

Published 19/12/2015

Swansea are planning to come up against bogeyman striker Andy Carroll, even though the West Ham man could miss out through injury.
Swansea are planning to come up against bogeyman striker Andy Carroll, even though the West Ham man could miss out through injury.

Swansea are planning to combat bogeyman striker Andy Carroll, despite Slaven Bilic's fear that the England international will miss West Ham's trip to the Liberty Stadium.

Hammers boss Bilic said at his pre-match press conference that Carroll is unlikely to play at Swansea on Sunday after picking up a groin injury in training this week.

That would be a huge bonus for a Swansea side who will drop into the Barclays Premier League relegation zone if Norwich avoid defeat at Manchester United on Saturday.

Carroll has hurt Swansea regularly in the past, scoring three goals in two games against them last season while setting up a Kevin Nolan double in a 2-0 Hammers' victory at Upton Park in the previous campaign.

"If he doesn't play that will be a huge bonus for us because he's certainly been a thorn in our side on a number of occasions," Alan Curtis said, ahead of his second game in temporary charge following the sacking of Garry Monk 10 days ago.

"If they get the service in to such a big fella he will cause anyone problems.

"But I'm not sure why their manager would give out information on their centre-forward being injured at such an early stage.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure he's not going to play against us, we're going to factor in that he is playing and hope we can deal with him."

Swansea have won only once in 12 games and last weekend's 2-1 reverse at Manchester City was their fifth defeat in six games.

But there were encouraging signs during Curtis' first game in charge as Swansea rediscovered some of the fluency which took them to a club-best eighth-placed finish in the Premier League last season.

"I've said to the players that the season started last week and even though we lost the game that was the standard we need," Curtis said.

"We have to get back to our style of play and I told the players it's not so much the teams we are playing against, but the the team we are playing for.

"We have to get back to that and I thought last week we were a little more like it.

"We lost, but at least I could recognise it was us."

Jonjo Shelvey is available after a calf problem and club chairman Huw Jenkins has denied reports of a rift with the England midfielder and insisted the 23-year-old remains committed to the Swansea cause.

"Since the change (of manager) was made, Jonjo has been totally committed to our football club, as he always has been," Jenkins told the South Wales Evening Post.

"He is fully on board with us and with everything we are trying to do get things back on track.

"He is committed to turning things around - to making sure we finish 2015 on a positive note and that we carry on like that in the second half of the season."

Swansea remain hopeful former Argentina and Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa will agree to become their new manager in the next few days.

But Jenkins said about the appointment: "If it takes us a little longer than expected then I'm sure it will be to the long-term benefit of this football club."

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