West Ham boss Slaven Bilic hopes Andy Carroll can feature against Newcastle
Last Updated: 25/08/17 11:46pm
Slaven Bilic admits he is tempted to start Andy Carroll in West Ham’s visit to Newcastle on Saturday.
The former Newcastle striker has trained all week following yet another injury lay-off, and could make his first appearance of the season at St James' Park.
"It's very tempting to play him," said Bilic.
"If he looks to me fit enough, of course he's going to be in the squad. If he doesn't look fit enough he isn't going to be in the squad - it's that simple.
"When he is fit we all know he is a major player."
Neither West Ham boss Bilic, nor Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez can afford defeat with both sides having lost their opening two Premier League games of the season.
Benitez has cut an increasingly frustrated figure and has this week been linked with Bilic's job at the London Stadium.
Bilic has played down the reports and although he concedes Saturday's clash will be a battle, the Croatian says there is only one fight that matters this weekend.
"I don't pay any attention to that [the speculation]. To talk about it after two games of the season is a bit ridiculous," he said.
"It's a single game, it's a new game. They need points, I need points. They are looking forward to the game, they are playing at home, they lost their first couple of league games, as we did.
"But do you think it's like Mayweather against McGregor? No. It makes no difference."