September 18, 2017 / 7:35 AM / 9 months ago

West Ham manager Bilic backs fit-again Carroll to fire

(Reuters) - Striker Andy Carroll will get sharper as the season goes on and can play a crucial role for West Ham United in the latter half of the season, manager Slaven Bilic has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Huddersfield Town - London, Britain - September 11, 2017 West Ham United's Andy Carroll shakes hands with manager Slaven Bilic as he walks off to be substituted REUTERS/David Klein

Carroll has featured only twice in the Premier League this season after four months out with a hip injury. He fired three of West Ham’s six shots on goal in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

Bilic, under pressure after a tough start to the league campaign that has seen West Ham lose three out of five games, backed Carroll to swell the team’s poor tally of four goals.

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion vs West Ham United - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - September 16, 2017 West Ham United's Andy Carroll in action Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

“This was his second game and he looks fit and he looks competitive and the quality will come through the games,” Bilic told the club’s website (

“It’s a big boost for us and long may it continue... It is very important for him to get the games under his belt. He looks good now, touch wood.”

West Ham are 17th in the league table and host fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have collected eight points from five games, on Saturday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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