Friday 19 January 2018

Bilic: Big Sam wrong on Carroll

Andy Carroll
Andy Carroll

Slaven Bilic has brushed off Sam Allardyce's criticism of Andy Carroll and claims the striker is totally focused on getting fit this season.

In his autobiography, former West Ham boss Allardyce questioned Carroll's dedication during his injury-hit spell at Upton Park.

Current Hammers chief Bilic, who replaced Allardyce in the summer, admitted he was aware of Carroll's reputation before taking over in east London.

But Bilic insists the 26-year-old, who has made three appearances since finally overcoming a long-term ankle injury, has been a model professional this term.

"I did not have to become West Ham manager to know about Andy Carroll," said Bilic. "I heard about that before, that sometimes he got injured because he was not totally dedicated to being a footballer.

"From my first day, he was injured. But the way he was working - in six to eight weeks of struggle that was boring and not ideal and not fun - he did it as a great professional and now we are expecting big benefits out of that.

"Those stories are definite, there is something behind them, they are true. It is very rare that people are making up stories. There is something there, but it looks much worse. I don't want to comment on the stories.

"He's been out a few times, but his rehabilitation and training, especially in that period, was top class."

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