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Saturday 22 July 2017

Slaven Bilic could drop goalkeeper Darren Randolph for Everton clash

Darren Randolph was beaten straight from a corner at Sunderland
Darren Randolph was beaten straight from a corner at Sunderland

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is considering dropping goalkeeper Darren Randolph for Saturday's clash with Everton.

Republic of Ireland international Randolph was responsible for both Sunderland goals in last weekend's 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light, the latest in a string of unconvincing performances.

Bilic made Randolph his number one in November after dropping Spanish keeper Adrian following some high-profile mistakes.

But Adrian could now be in line for a dramatic recall as Bilic attempts to plug the holes in a defence which has let in more goals than rock-bottom Sunderland this season.

"We are going to see, we have to discuss it," said Bilic.

"We win as a team, we lose as a team, but if we are talking about individual errors when we conceded a few goals then the whole world knows when a keeper makes a mistake.

"But we are winning as a team and losing as a team. We can't forget how many times he has done a really good job for us.

"Is he still the number one? We are going to see, we have two really good goalkeepers.

"With keepers they need confidence like every other player. It's wrong to judge keepers on one mistake, and to change them on a weekly basis. If you do that you lose both your keepers."

Adrian has not made a first-team appearance since the FA Cup third-round visit from Manchester City in January, which West Ham lost 5-0.

"When I decided to drop Adrian to give Randy a chance, and then again after that, we have spoken a couple of times about his future," added Bilic.

"He's a great professional and he never dropped one bit his level in training. I told him he had to wait for his chance and that is exactly how it is."

Whoever lines up in goal will be facing the daunting task of stopping Romelu Lukaku, the striker who cannot stop scoring against West Ham.

The Belgian has scored in each of his last nine matches against the Hammers, and Bilic admitted: "It's a job for our defenders.

"In some of the games we've played against them we were really good, but still he scored a goal.

"He is good and, not only that, he is consistent for his age. People forget how young he is as he has been on the radar for a long time.

"Everton have done a really good job to keep him. He is one of best strikers, not only in the Premier League, but in Europe."

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