Bilic pledges “really strong squad” for Cheltenham


BilicSlaven Bilic has revealed that he will take “a really strong squad” to Cheltenham for tomorrow nights League Cup clash against the league Two side.

But he hinted that Michail Antonio will be left behind saying: “Only with the players like Antonio – who came back after a long injury and played on Saturday – will we be thinking about Newcastle game.

He said: “We will take a strong squad to Cheltenham. Maybe a few players will stay and obviously the players still not fit will not come.

“Some of them are only in their first few days of training like Lanzini. But if it stays like that we have a really strong squad.

“Today in training, for instance, we had all the other players available for training. They were fit and on the pitch without restrictions. Some of them are suspended – [Marko] Arnautovic – some it was their first training, like Snodgrass.

“For tomorrow’s game, there are only a couple of players that we won’t take to travel. We have options and we want to give some a rest. We will see tomorrow which team we will put out but it will be a strong team because we want to win the game of course.

“Winston Reid will not be fit but it’s not a bad injury. He should be fit for the Huddersfield game after the international break.”

Adrian may be hoping for a chance to impress on Wednesday and Diafra Sakho may get an extended run out while Declan Rice looks a cert for the side.

“It’s not a big thing for others to play – it’s the beginning of the season. There is an international break after the Newcastle game, so it’s OK for them to play.

“Wednesday until Saturday is enough time to recover. If we make changes it’s because we have a good squad and can do that, although we will have a little bit of an eye on Newcastle but we will put a strong team out.”

Wednesday’s tie will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Mix from 7.30pm. Alternatively, you can follow our Live blog on from 6pm.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    He says that before every cup game in this competition. Best just to see who he picks hopefully Adrian will start and Collins and show him how to keep a clean sheet COYI !!!

    • JRS says:

      Agree miss Adrian and good old reliable Ginge!
      Adrian should start in PL games as well as Ginge if ask me but different story.
      Think will see Collins and Fonte. Bryam will play Sead Rice (Think they got Rice for CM) tho he I still great as CB. Wanted to see Toni and Holland. But Sahko and others.
      Byram hopefully do very well and push for some PL games bc don’t think Zab has the pace. And I’m worried we will be in same RB situation we’ve been I’m for 2 years shortly

  • norfolkhammer says:

    hey West Ham fan no.32 was it you on here the other day wanting or needing a tkt for a game?

  • iron surfer says:

    I was looking for one at the Brighton home game I’m flying in from Florida that day

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