Tuesday 20 February 2018

James Collins injury adds to defensive headache for West Ham boss Slaven Bilic

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic could be without seven senior defenders this weekend
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic could be without seven senior defenders this weekend

West Ham's memorable win over Tottenham came at a cost with more injury worries for manager Slaven Bilic.

The Hammers could be without up to seven senior defenders when they head to Everton on Saturday.

James Collins is the latest casualty after suffering a hamstring injury, while Angelo Ogbonna had his ankle heavily strapped after limping through the second half.

Already missing Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Joey O'Brien and Carl Jenkinson due to injury and Sam Byram through suspension, West Ham finished the 1-0 victory with a makeshift back three of Ogbonna, youngster Reece Oxford and midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.

Reid is the closest to returning following a hamstring problem but is short of match fitness, while Wales international Collins now faces a spell on the sidelines.

"It's his hamstring and it's not a couple of days (out)," said Bilic.

"We will wait until it settles down and assess it. The first information is that we should be happy if he only misses three games.

"After three games there is an international break, Easter and all that. But it's a big blow for us, the whole season he has been magnificent."

Michail Antonio's seventh-minute header was enough to beat fierce rivals Spurs, denting their title hopes and catapulting West Ham back into the race for a top-four finish.

The forward played at wing-back on Wednesday night and could find himself at right-back at Goodison with Byram completing a two-match ban.

"We had some injuries to contend with but it shows we have got the squad to do it," Antonio told the club website.

"We keep losing players and we are still getting results. Our squad is unreal.

"We lost our attacking players earlier in the season but we were still scoring goals and then we started losing our defenders and I have been playing right-back. We just want to work for each other and it shows on the pitch.

"We believe we can go anywhere and get a result. We will now head to Everton and not go for a point, we will go for the three points and see what it happens."

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