West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic said it is up to in-form striker Andy Carroll to stay fit and capitalise on a fine string of performances.
Carroll scored the second goal of West Ham’s 2-0 win over his former club Liverpool, as the towering Englishman put in another impressive shift for Bilic’s side in Premier League action on Saturday.
The Croatian boss heaped praise on Carroll for his performance, but said he had to work hard to stay fit.
“I thought he was brilliant,” said Bilic. “Not just because of his goal but his performance; defending, holding the ball up, pressing their defenders, everything.
“Liverpool is always a ‘target’ team, especially now with Jurgen Klopp as their manager, and to create chances and keep a clean sheet is a great way to start the new year for West Ham.
“Now he looks fit to me. We have been talking a lot about him: Andy this, Andy that, Andy England, but now he is fit and it is all down to him now.
“Is he going to look after himself, work hard, train, rest, to maintain his position or to even make it better? And then, and only then, he will become a great asset for us, and it is up to him.
“I expect him to stick to what he was like recently, he would be very, very stupid to do otherwise.”
Carroll now has three goals to his name this season, after struggling for form early in the campaign while he fought to regain his fitness.
West Ham’s win put Bilic’s side into sixth position in the table as the club eyes off European football next term.