Captain Kevin Nolan says keeping strike duo fit will be key to a good season for West Ham

Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll, Mark Noble

West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan says he knows the key to a good first season for Slaven Bilic... keeping strikers Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho fit.

Nolan's future at West Ham had been seen as in doubt this summer after the departure of his trusted manager Sam Allardyce.

But while his future remains unclear, the 33-year-old former Bolton Wanderers midfielder has been speaking to West Ham's official website about his hopes for the club's last ever season at their historic Boleyn Ground home of 112 years.

And he says the equation for new boss Bilic is a simple one. Just keep strikers Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho out of the treatment room and on the pitch.

"When you lose someone (Carroll) of his ability for a lot of the season (it is difficult)," Nolan told

"And we lost Diafra at the end of the season too and they were where a lot of the goals were coming from.

"I think this is a big, big, big season for them two boys to try and keep themselves fit throughout the season and I'm sure if we can keep them fit for the year or throughout the season, we'll have a fantastic season ahead and an exciting one."

Keeping injury-prone Carroll fit is not that simple

Nolan has a point too. The Hammers were flying high and made their best ever start to a Premier League season with Sakho, Enner Valencia and Carroll all playing their part.

But when Carroll suffered yet another long-term injury and Sakho and Valencia found themselves sidelined for extended spells the goals dried up and so too did the wins.

The Irons went on to win just three games in 2015 to slump from fourth at Christmas to 12th by the season's end.

But is keeping someone like Carroll fit really that simple.

The former Liverpool and Newcastle forward has suffered a string of long-term injuries in east London and has been reduced to little more than an expensive bonus for West Ham.

Sakho suffered with a back complaint twice last season which kept him out for extended spells too and fans will be keen to see him stay fit because they know when he plays he invariably scores.

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