West Ham winger on road to recovery
PUBLISHED: 14:07 29 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:21 29 August 2014
But Hammers boss insists Valencia is still not match fit
West Ham winger Matt Jarvis is looking to return to action after the international break after sitting out the season so far.
The 28-year-old former England man has been struggling with a thigh injury which has left him on the treatment table so far in this campaign, but manager Sam Allardyce confirmed he was on the way back.
“I would have though Matt will be with us to play some part after the international break,” confirmed the boss this week.
“He may not be able to play in the Hull City game, but certainly if he gets fit during the break and we can perhaps put on a couple of small games on behind closed doors for him to catch up and get some match practice, then we will be able to decide on whether he can come back into the squad.”
Another battling for match fitness is new striker Enner Valencia and the manager can’t believe that some people are criticising him for not bringing the Ecuador international into the fold sooner.
“This is the trouble with football,” said Allardyce.
“They ask me why is he not playing? Well, his first full game since the World Cup was Tuesday night.
“When we play out first game in pre-season the players play 45 minutes. We have had to play him for 120 minutes against Sheffield United because of circumstances which is something he got through exceptionally well considering we only wanted to leave him on for 60 minutes.
“But he has got a long way to go to catch his match fitness up. We give the players six weeks to get ready for a new season and then when a new player comes everyone expects him to be fit and ready to play in 10 days, it’s mind-boggling.
“I am patient enough to wait until he is 100 per cent fit and then hopefully he can really show what he is made of.”
The lack of competitive games for those coming back from injury, or for those on the fringes of the first team is something of a headache for Allardyce, who was left frustrated at their exit from the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
“It was a shame we got knocked out,” he said. “For Reece Burke, Dan Potts, Diego Poyet and certainly young Reece Oxford, who came in because we had no other centre half available, it would have been great development for them if we had got through.
“Leo Chambers, who is injured at the moment, would have played a big part and did last year when we got to the semi-final, so for me it is a great shame we are out.”