Hammers boss David Moyes has offered a negative injury update ahead of West Ham United’s key Premier League showdown with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.
The Irons had hoped that Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang and Welsh defender James Collins, who have been out of action through injury since January and February respectively, would return for the trip to the East Midlands.
However, speaking in his pre-Leicester City press conference at Rush Green training ground on Friday morning, Moyes confirmed otherwise when updating the press about the pair.
“Neither of them are in a condition to do that (be named in the matchday squad at Leicester) yet. Thankfully, both of them are back doing some training, but neither of them are at a level of being match-fit.”
In the build-up to the crucial match, question marks also did hang above English striker Andy Carroll over his possible involvement in Leicestershire, following this week’s events.
Carroll was fined for leaving the substitutes’ bench early during last Sunday’s 1-4 defeat to the champions Manchester City at the London Stadium, aggrieved at the fact that he was not introduced to make an impact on the one-sided affair.
The dispute then reportedly continued on to the training ground the morning after and resulted in the tall forward being sent home from training after confronting the manager.
But, Moyes insisted that the disagreement is a thing of the past and the situation has been forgiven and forgotten, meaning that Carroll is now available for selection for the matchup.
“We’ve fined him, he has apologised to both the players and myself, so we’ve moved on and we’re quite happy now that it’s done and dusted.
“Andy was in the squad last weekend, that’s why he was on the bench, and he’ll be in the squad this weekend too, It’s certainly resolved as far as I’m concerned.”
The news will come as a relief to members of the Claret & Blue Army as they know how effective the striker can be when used as an impact substitute, despite missing much of his time so far in East London through various injury problems.
Later in the press conference, the Scottish former Manchester United gaffer reiterated the importance of all his team’s remaining league matches, including the journey to the King Power.
“All the games now are massive, but when I came in in November I thought they were massive then, so it’s not as though anything has really changed.
“This is certainly a really big game for us, but we’ve got three games to go and we’ve got to make sure we’re good in them all.”
The ex-Everton boss continued, “We’ve got three games to win, so we’re going to try and win all three of them. The first one is at Leicester and if we can win all three of the games we might find ourselves quite high up the table, so that’s the job we’re going to try and do.
“If we have a defeat, we’ve got two other games to put it right, so we’re fortunate we have that extra game.
“We’re going to Leicester with a positive mindset. We’ve got three games to go, so we’re not going to be downbeat. We hope the ability we’ve got in areas of the pitch will give us the chance to win.”
They currently sit 15th and just three points above Southampton in 18th place and if they fail to do something that they have only managed once this year, reign victorious on the road, they could find themselves level on points with a team in the bottom three this weekend.
Although, as stated by Moyes, the club do have a game-in-hand on some of those around them in the relegation battle, albeit that is against the Red Devils after the Foxes clash.
Then, on the final day of the season, by which they will have hoped to secure their Top-Flight status for another season, the East Londoners face another of Motes’ former sides in Sam Allardyce’s Toffees, completing the run-in.
Players such as defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell and goalkeeper Adrian San-Miguel have been among those to speak out via the club’s Official Website WHUFC.com about the importance of being confident and positive.
And Moyes, who has led a revival in East London since taking over from Slaven Bilic in November 2017, is no different as he prepares to lead his team into the fray of the conclusion of their relegation battle.
“The players are in good spirits, despite losing 4-1 to Manchester City last weekend,” proclaimed the gaffer being rumoured to be signing a contract extension with West Ham at the end of the season, should the team beat the drop to the Sky Bet Championship.
“We were really disappointed with how we played, even against the champions but, overall, we’re keen to put it right and their motivation and attitude have been very good.
“The players and staff know exactly what’s at stake, so we’ll all work together and try to get a result.
“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of managing West Ham United since I arrived in November and, in the main, we’ve had some good results because we’ve got good players here.
“I think there are things we can do much better. West Ham quite often give you a high, then quite often give you a few lows after that, so it’s something I’d like to correct. I’d like to get a little more consistency.
“Our record since we came in would have us nearer mid-table than where we are currently, so I’ve got to get that consistency, but at the moment the only focus is on winning the next game and getting the three points at Leicester, if we can.”
You can follow live updates from the pivotal Premier League matchup between Claude Puel’s mid-table Leicester City outfit and David Moyes’ strugglers West Ham United at the King Power Stadium on this Saturday afternoon by heading over to @WestHamMatters_ on Twitter.