West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic is backing Andy Carroll to be in contention for the Euro 2016 England squad.
Carroll’s work rate and attitude have been questioned by former Irons manager Sam Allardyce who has been using his autobiography and his new profile as Sunderland boss to settle some scores with his old club.
In the book, Allardyce says that Carroll’s “casual” attitude was costing him a role as England’s first choice striker.
He said: “He needs to be more responsible and realise that a football career passes in the blink of an eye.
“He doesn’t really like watching football and isn’t interested in the history of the game. But, when fit, he should be England’s regular centre-forward.”
But Allardyce’s successor Bilic insists Carroll will find his form again and prove to everyone that he is still a good quality Premier League striker.
Bilic said: “When Carroll was playing an injury free he was in the national team. I remember when Carroll was with England under Fabio Capello – I saw him on the bench in 2009/10 and I was relieved.
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“He has to continue to train without injuries and that would bring him in a position that would mean he play more for West Ham, that would bring him in a position to score more goals for West Ham and hopefully that would be enough for Roy Hodgson to put him in the England squad – but we can’t too far ahead.”
Bilic said Allardyce’s opinion should spur on the former Newcastle United and Liverpool frontman.
“It is not criticism – it is more like motivation,” said the 46-year-old. “Sam [Allardyce] said he’s not putting more time into football than he should. Carroll likes his football and he likes to train. Every game he has played in training he is the one that is the most competitive. He’s still very much interested in the game.”