West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic insists that the Hammers’ poor record against Everton will play no part in his thinking ahead of their clash on Saturday (November 7).
The east Londoners have won just one of their last 17 ties against Roberto Martinez’s side – and that was the memorable penalty shoot win in the FA Cup third round replay at Upton Park which saw Adrian score the winner. In the Premier League, 2007 was the last victory for the Irons.
Bilic said “I know we haven’t beaten them in eight years but it doesn’t mean a lot. It’s a new game and we’ve already beaten some big teams this season – but it didn’t mean a lot last week when we lost to Watford .
“Every game is a new game, it’s a new start and you have to prove yourself from the first whistle till the end.
“We are facing a big club that has had ups and downs in recent years. It’s a club that is thinking and acting big and not selling their big players. It’s a big test for us.”
Another scan of the record book reveals that West Ham have not won back to back home games since December 2014 – while the Goodison Park side have lost just two of their last nine Premier League away.
A more realistic blow to the team’s chances is the loss of first choice striker Diafra Sakho . He is sidelined after rupturing his thigh muscle in training.
Bilic said: “It is nothing major. Sakho reported it after training last Thursday before the Watford game. It is a small tear and it’s a rupture in his thigh and he is out of the Everton game but he will be fit after the international break.
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“It’s a setback because he’s a very important player for us. He has energy and he dictates the rhythm of the game. With his pace and determination he frightens the defence.”
However, the return of centre half Winston Reid is a welcome boost, according to Bilic.
“Winston Reid is in the squad for Saturday. He hasn’t played since the Sunderland game. He has been training for a week now and its good to have him back. He is very important to us on and off the pitch.”
Meanwhile defender James Collins is suspended after his dismissal in last week’s defeat at the hands of the Hornets at Vicarage Road with his future at the club a matter of conjecture.