Bilic not taking any chances with Wolves

Date published: Friday 8th January 2016 2:35

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has vowed to field a strong team in the FA Cup against Sky Bet Championship side Wolves.

As a Hammers player Bilic was on the wrong end of an upset when they were knocked out at home to Wrexham in 1997, and he has no intention of slipping up as a manager.

“It’s a cup tie, it’s a platform for a big surprise, and of course we are approaching the FA Cup very seriously,” he said.

“We are expecting a tough game. Wolves are on a good run, they are confident because they haven’t conceded in three games. They are very hard to beat and very good on counter-attacks.

“But we are playing at home and I am expecting us to progress.”

Bilic will be without influential midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who faces a few weeks out with a recurrence of a thigh problem.

But the recent Upton Park injury crisis, which also robbed the Hammers of Dimitri Payet, Diafra Sakho, Victor Moses and Winston Reid, is finally easing up.

And Bilic claims that spate of injuries did have its positives with the emergence of winger Michail Antonio and the performances of Andy Carroll in attack and James Collins at the back.

“Regarding the game on Saturday, the good thing that came out of the bad thing – the injuries – is that now we have 20 players who are all regulars in our team, who played two weeks ago or a week ago” he added.

“We have players who are match fit and that gives us more options, especially with the schedule of two games in three days, so that’s a good thing, and we will see for Saturday and Tuesday (against Bournemouth).

“But make no mistake, we will put a team out that we really believe will win the game.”

French playmaker Payet proved his fitness with an impressive cameo as a substitute in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Liverpool, in which both Antonio and Carroll were on target.

Defender Reid could make his return from a hamstring injury against Wolves, but winger Moses is a week away and Sakho is due back at the beginning of February.

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