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Bilic: Watford will be facing a different West Ham

The Croatian manager looks to reverse the tables

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic indicated Thursday that star forward Andy Carroll “maybe” available for their match against Watford this weekend.

In his first press conference since the Hammers returned from their Dubai work retreat, the Croatian indicated again that Carroll’s groin injury isn’t too severe. Still, the English international could be unavailable for a second consecutive Premier League match, as the club wants him to be fully healthy before returning to action.

“I was expecting Andy Carroll to train in Dubai but it is a bit slower than we expected,” Bilic said. “He will try to run today. Maybe he has a chance to be in the squad for the Watford game on Saturday. This is not a big injury. He has been training hard in the gym and he is looking after himself.”

Unlike Carroll, the fitness concerns for left backs Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku are gone as both will be available for Bilic on Saturday. Angelo Ogbonna’s long term injury and Diafra Sakho’s slow return are the only injuries for the club at the moment.

The Hammers tactician was encouraged by his team’s trip to the United Arab Emirates. And he vowed that his side are completely different from the last team it faced Watford, where the Hornets secured a wild, comeback 4-2 victory over West Ham in September at the London Stadium.

"The guys had a good trip to Dubai and we worked hard,” Bilic said. “We trained more than if we had stayed here and it was good for team bonding.”

“We are a different team from the one who last faced Watford. We had so many players injured but we are in a much better shape now.”