West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic expects a tough contest against Stoke City on Saturday, but is confident his team’s recent upturn in home form will allow them to prevail against Mark Hughes’ men in the Premier League on Saturday.
Stoke endured a shaky start to the season, but have risen to 12th in the table and are unbeaten in their last five league games.
West Ham, who are 17th in the 20-team league, three points above the relegation zone, won two in a row at the London Stadium for the first time last month, beating Sunderland in the league and Chelsea in the League Cup.
Bilic’s team were beaten 2-0 at Everton in their last league outing but the manager said the mood in the camp was upbeat despite the loss.
“We are creating many chances and we need to covert them,” the manager told a news conference on Thursday.
“We are disappointed with the Everton result but we are on a good path. We are entering the game with a positive experience having beaten Sunderland and Chelsea.
The manager said striker Andy Carroll was okay after being targeted by armed robbers on Wednesday.
Carroll was confronted by two men on a motorcycle on his way home from training and pursued back to West Ham’s training ground.
“Andy Carroll is good,” Bilic added. “I just spoke to him about what happened. He is okay.”
“He was probably targeted. I don’t think it was coincidental and he was chased for a long time.
“He was very brave. He came back to the training ground. Thankfully he is good, he’s okay, he’s not in shock. He acted in a brave manner.
The injured Carroll has not played since August and Bilic added that the striker had resumed running and would return to action in two weeks if he suffered no further setbacks.
Winston Reid will miss the game against Stoke due to suspension, and Bilic said the defender had picked up a hamstring tear that would extend his spell on the sidelines.
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