By Emma Sanders

Slaven Bilic has claimed he will not hold back Andy Carroll any more and believes West Ham’s cautious approach may have led to problems.

The striker has suffered a number of injury setbacks since joining the club and has been unable to gain regular first team action despite remaining an important figure in the squad.

Carroll is one of a number of West Ham attackers who have faced time on the sidelines through injury this season, with Diafra Sakho also ruled out for a lengthy spell.

Ahead of the clash against Swansea, Bilic was questioned on Carroll’s involvement, with many fearing he may not be able to cope with the busy fixtures schedule but the manager was adamant he would not be holding him back.

“We are monitoring him but why should I hold him back? In training we can tell him to stay in and do some extra work, massages, maybe because before it was always holding him back,” said Bilic, as reported by the Evening Standard.

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“Don’t do that, don’t do that,’ maybe that was main reason he was getting injured. You are more likely to get injured if you don’t train. Why are we being negative?”

Carroll was out of action for three months after suffering a serious knee injury in the Europa League 1-1 draw against Astra Giurgiu in August.

He returned to the squad and made substitute appearances against Arsenal and Liverpool before making his first start against Burnley on 14th December.

The 27-year-old was named in the starting XI against Hull three days later and has now featured in the Hammers last four games but they have three crucial fixtures in eight days to play over the festive period.

In other West Ham news, Danny Murphy reveals how the Hammers can get the best out of Carroll.