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Slaven Bilic: We took advantage of the international break to recover injured players


West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic says Andre Ayew, Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll are very close to making their long-awaited comeback from injury.

The Hammers face Crystal Palace away from home this weekend, hoping to get out of the relegation zone.

"We used the international break to train a bit more with the players who were injured before the last international break," he said.

"We used this couple of weeks to get them in the state that is required for the Premier League.

"I am happy the way they trained and I am expecting them to be fit and good. This break gives us two weeks to the next game, the players who were really close are back training with us.

"A few like [Andre] Ayew, [Diafra] Sakho, [Andy] Carroll are still not fit but are closer. The spirit in the group and the shortening of the list of injuries is giving us belief and hope and optimism before the games.

"[Crystal] Palace didn't start well in the first three games and got one point. In the last four games they got 10 points. Benteke gelled straight away and they probably didn't want the break as they were playing good.

"We went there last season at this stage and we played very well and we won the game 3-1 so hopefully we are going to do the same, although we are expecting a very difficult game."

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Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Slaven Bilic