Tuesday 23 January 2018

Bilic hopeful O'Brien pulls through his injury setback

West Ham’s Joey O’Brien. Photo: Getty
West Ham’s Joey O’Brien. Photo: Getty

West Ham are counting the cost of their dramatic FA Cup replay win over Liverpool, after Ireland defender Joey O'Brien suffered another injury setback.

Angelo Ogbonna's header in the last minute of extra time finally saw off the Reds 2-1 on Tuesday night and set up a fifth-round trip to Blackburn.

But the Hammers lost three players to injury and at least three more were struggling at the end of the gruelling tie.

O'Brien and Winston Reid pulled up injured, Cheikhou Kouyate took a whack on the head, Enner Valencia would surely have gone off had all the substitutes not already been used, while Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll also appeared to pick up knocks.

With James Tomkins, Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho already sidelined, manager Slaven Bilic could be thin on numbers ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Norwich.

"Unfortunately we had to pay the price with a few of them and we can only hope they won't be out for long," said Bilic.

"Cheikhou felt a little uncoordinated but hopefully he will be okay. Enner looks like a bruise. Joey hadn't played for long time so we hope it's just tightness, but with Reid it doesn't look good to me."

West Ham took the lead just before half-time through Antonio's volley, only for Philippe Coutinho to level with a cheeky low free-kick.

But with penalties looming Dimitri Payet swung in a free-kick and Ogbonna powered in his header to secure the win.

"I was very happy to score in the last minute," said the Italian defender.

"It was my first goal for West Ham and in front of our supporters, so I am really happy for my team-mates and for everybody.

"It's a good result for us and we have to look forward to the next step now."

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