Bilic: England call would boost Carroll’s confidence

Date published: Thursday 9th February 2017 3:31

Slaven Bilic feels an England call-up for Andy Carroll would give the West Ham striker a major confidence boost.

Carroll’s stunning form since returning from injury, with four goals in his last four matches, has prompted talk of an international recall.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is monitoring the 28-year-old, whose last England appearance came in October 2012 in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino.

A constant stream of injury problems has meant Carroll has not been able to add to his nine caps since joining West Ham permanently.

But with Southgate weighing up his options ahead of next month’s fixtures against Germany and Lithuania, the former Newcastle and Liverpool frontman will surely be in the reckoning.

Hammers manager Bilic said: “It’s always good for us, and the player, to win a cap because that is the biggest proof he is in good form.

“Especially when it is happening to mature players like Andy, he will take that only as another boost of confidence.”

Carroll came off with a minor groin niggle after scoring in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Southampton but hopes to be fit in time to face West Brom on Saturday.

Bilic will not take any risks with his in-form forward, however.

“We treat him slightly differently because of his history,” added Bilic.

“Andy is, in numbers of training, very high up on the list. This is his first time in the last couple of months basically that he didn’t train the whole week.

“He is a very good professional, a great trainer and he is looking after his body and that is the key to why he’s playing so good now.”

Bilic will also check on left-back Aaron Cresswell’s tight hamstring and midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, who has a dead leg, ahead of the West Brom game.

West Ham will use a gap in their fixtures next weekend – due to their early exit from the FA Cup – to travel to Dubai for warm-weather training.

Crystal Palace have reportedly cancelled a similar trip in light of their poor form but Bilic, whose side are now up to ninth, insists his players are going there to work.

“We have a gap, it is nice weather there and the players will have some free times to clear their heads and charge their batteries,” he said.

“First of all, we are going there to train, for very important sessions for us.

“Sometimes you have to think about the bigger picture, how the media and the fans would react. But we’re going to train more in Dubai than we would train here – that is definitely the case.

“It is not a question of where you are going, but what you do there.”

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