Bilic hopeful injured players will soon return

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West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is confident Michail Antonio will be available for Saturday’s game against Southampton and that other sidelined players are close to returning to action.

Antonio missed the 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, as did Cheikhou Kouyate, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll.

Bilic believes Antonio will be able to play this weekend and that the other three could be available for the game against Newcastle on 26 August.

“Mikey Antonio should be back for Southampton,” Bilic said.

“Cheikhou, Manuel and Andy should be there for Newcastle, the latest after the international break. They will be back soon.”

The Hammers’ injury problems proved costly as they suffered a terrible start to their season – and Bilic admitted the heavy defeat will affect the confidence of his players.

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Speaking at his post-match press conference after the game at Old Trafford, Bilic said: “It shouldn’t affect our confidence, but it will. We are very low.

“It was a bad result for us. They were much better than us in every department – with and without the ball.

“The players feel bad and so do I. We have an obligation to pick ourselves up and prepare for the game against Southampton.”




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