Team News | West Ham
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Javi Gracia has vowed to again make maximum use of the resources at his disposal after reporting none of his injured players are in line to make a return this weekend.
Gracia only had 17 fit players to choose from on Monday night and had to pluck Joy Mukena from the Under-23 team just to name 18 players on the teamsheet against Chelsea.
Although Miguel Britos is back in training, the weekend's game with West Ham will come too early in the recovery of the Uruguayan who has been out since the away game with Newcastle in December.
He will join Christian Kabasele, Craig Cathcart, Younes Kaboul, Tom Cleverley, Heurelho Gomes, Will Hughes, Kiko Femenia, Jerome Sinclair and Nathaniel Chalobah on the list of players unavailable to the Head Coach.
“I think we are in the same situation as the last game,” said Gracia.
“We have 17 players available and we need one Under-23 player. This week Britos is back is training with the team but not available yet. Maybe today he completes the session with the team. In the next sessions maybe other players come back. I hope Kiko, I hope Hughes and Gomes is training next week maybe.”
Craig Cathcart is also thought to be close to return to training while Troy Deeney had to be monitored this week. “He had a problem with his ankle this week and today he trains with the team,” said Gracia.
Kabasele and Cleverley both picked up hamstring injuries in the goalless draw at Stoke. “Kabasele will be out more time,” said Gracia. “Tom Cleverley, I'm not sure. I hope he is back soon.”
Gracia, though, is not grumbling about the injury situation. He is just getting on with it and using his skills as a coach to coax the best out of the players he has to work with.
“I wish these players come back soon but this is our situation and I focus on the players I have available,” said Gracia. “I try to get good results with the players we have.
“I try to take advantage of our all resources with 17 players try to make a good balance. I don't have many problems with 18 players to choose every game. We will see in the future what happens when we have more possibilities.”