Andy Carroll insists the ongoing situation with wantaway midfielder Dimitri Payet will not destroy the spirit within the West Ham first-team squad.
“Our response just proves what the lads have got deep down in themselves – our passion for football, for the manager and for our club,” Andy Carroll said.
“It proves our passion for football, for the manager and for our club. It’s everything. No one player is going to destroy anything. The fight the lads have and the fans standing behind us has all been great. It’s a very tight-knit group, certainly the tightest it’s been since I joined West Ham. It’s great just walking into the dressing room every morning.
“The lads have always got a smile on their faces, even when the manager has dragged us in on a Sunday morning when we don’t really want to be there because we’re supposed to be off. Instead of being upset, we’re walking in smiling. It’s just a tight, tight group. We’re all in one big messaging group. Everyone has an input. Everyone’s chatting every day. Everyone’s together and we’ll have banter about absolutely anything and everything.“
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Payet has already been excluded from that social media messaging network and, having seemingly burnt his bridges in east London, can only hope Marseille match West Ham’s valuation by the middle of next week. “We’re not asking for anything crazy,” shrugged Bilic, who said he had “nothing new” to report on the errant player’s movements but conceded he would be “ridiculous” to say his team were better off without his talent.