Under-fire West Ham boss gives injury update and hints at Carroll plan for Cardiff
PUBLISHED: 11:14 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:18 10 January 2014
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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce knows he will be taking a “calculated risk” if he uses Andy Carroll in Saturday’s crucial clash against fellow strugglers Cardiff City.
Allardyce’s job could come under threat if West Ham fail to get a result at the Cardiff City Stadium after their miserable Premier League form was compounded by cup thrashings against Nottingham Forest and Manchester City.
The Hammers have been without record signing Carroll all season due to a heel problem but the former Liverpool man is back in full training and is set to be named on the bench against Cardiff.
Allardyce says he will make a decision on whether to use Carroll after Friday’s training session - but he knows he would be gambling on a player who hasn’t featured since May.
“Andy’s training okay,” Allardyce said. “We have to talk to the lads who are looking after him about whether he’s ready or not. It’ll be a calculated risk.
“We’ll see how training goes today and take it from there.
“If everything goes okay and according to plan, I’ll make a final decision from the information I get.
“He’s feeling fine and training well, but he’s not played since last May.
“He’ll not have his match fitness. Ideally, we’d like to progress it a little slower but, based on the circumstances and where we are, it’ll be a calculated risk.
“He’ll be in the squad, not the team.”
In defence, Allarydce refealed that James Tomkins will be back in the squad but Joey O’Brien has been ruled out after suffering an injury against Manchester City.
“We’ll have James Tomkins back in the squad,” Allardyce said. “James Collins is close but not quite there.
“But we lost Joey O’Brien on Wednesday night as well, so it doesn’t clear our problems: they continue due to the amount of games and fatigue.
“We get one back and lose another. Central defensive problems have been the biggest issue in terms of results.”
Provisional squad: Jaaskelainen, Adrian, Demel, Johnson, Tomkins, Rat, McCartney, Diarra, Noble, Collison, Jarvis, Taylor, J Cole, Diame, Morrison, Maiga, C Cole, Carroll.