Slaven Bilic has decided to change West Ham’s training ground in an attempt to prevent even further injuries to his squad.
The Hammers were due to relocate to their new Rush Green HQ, where they currently play under-21 games, at the start of next season.
But beleaguered boss Bilic has decided to take training there from next Monday, despite the site not being completely ready, following a rash of injuries on the pitches at their current Chadwell Heath base.
Bilic currently has six key players – Dimitri Payet, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho, Manuel Lanzini, Victor Moses and Winston Reid – on his casualty list.
Payet and Valencia were hurt after heavy challenges against Everton last month, but the other four have suffered muscle injuries, which Bilic has blamed on the training pitches.
Winger Moses and defender Reid were this week ruled out until the new year with hamstring damage, which proved the final straw for the Croatian.
“I heard a lot about the pitches here and they are not ideal. With Reid’s injury, for example, they are slippery on the top but rock hard underneath, and it is a bad combination,” he said.
“Over the time players have been moaning about the pitches, they are not happy. We were planning to move next season, at the start, to Rush Green because of the quality of the pitches.
“I decided on Monday next week, we will go. We can’t continue to risk this much on these kind of pitches. The pitches are better there than here. We can live without the great dressing room, the kitchens and the free area for now.”
New Zealand international Reid could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with West Ham awaiting the results of a scan on Friday.
“It doesn’t look good,” added Bilic. “It’s one of those they tell you is four to six weeks, but it doesn’t look like small one. He slipped and felt it rupture.
“Victor is out for four to six weeks. It’s a blow – we have had six injuries since the Everton game. Before that we had a full squad!”
Ecuador forward Valencia is the closest to being fit and has an outside chance of making the bench against Stoke on Saturday.