Belfast Telegraph

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic refusing to give up on Andy Carroll

Slaven Bilic has vowed he will "never give up" on injury-jinxed striker Andy Carroll.

Former Newcastle and Liverpool frontman Carroll has missed more than 100 matches through injury since he joined West Ham in 2012.

The 28-year-old's latest ailment, a groin problem, means he will sit out the Hammers' final home game of the season against Liverpool on Sunday.

Bilic freely admits that he is unable to count on Carroll's fitness, but the West Ham manager has not run out of patience yet.

"It is not a subject for now, but Andy is kind of a player that has such a big impact on our game that we won't give up on him," said Bilic.

"Especially now as this has nothing to do with lifestyle or not being committed enough.

"He works really hard, it was bad luck and, as I said, I will never give up on him.

"On the other hand it is no good having a player whose name you put down first, second or third and can't rely on him."

West Ham's injuries are piling up with skipper Mark Noble and fellow midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate requiring surgery which will rule them out of the last two matches.

The duo had been playing through the pain barrier, but with the Hammers now safe from relegation following last Friday's win over Tottenham, both players are going under the knife.

"Mark has had a hernia in the last couple of months, he didn't want to talk about it as he is a great captain and wanted to help the team," added Bilic.

"He played through the pain and with that pain and it became a bit worse.

"It's not because we are safe now and he doesn't want to play, I wanted him to play one more game. But the surgeon said he should get it done.

"He played against Spurs last week - one of our key players, a skipper playing - and that meant a lot to the team.

"Kouyate has a wrist problem, he played through a lot of pain with injections. He was supposed to do that operation earlier.

"We made a plan for him to play as much as possible, but it became worse."

Bilic will be without eight first-team players in total against Liverpool with Michail Antonio - who signed a new four-year contract on Thursday - Diafra Sakho, Pedro Obiang, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna all out injured.

It is not only West Ham's players who are in the wars, though.

Bilic is scheduled to have a hip operation at the end of the season, and he revealed first-team coach and former Hammers hardman Julian Dicks will be joining him in the sick bay.

"We have had so many injuries this season and a lot of them were big ones," he said. "I think we've had eight operations and then on top of that I'm going to have surgery.

"Then 'Dicksy' did his knee a few days ago. Now he's on crutches . I think we must be jinxed."

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