Slaven Bilic explains whether injuries have impacted on West Ham United's title chances this season

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United are currently just two points away from the top four.

Slaven Bilic has told West Ham United’s official site that injuries may actually have helped his side this season.

Bilic’s West Ham side have surpassed all expectations to make a push for the Champions League spaces this season, but there is a feeling that things could have been even better - if they had enjoyed a bit more luck with injuries.

The Hammers lost a number of their key players midway through the season, and there were a patch of matches where they were forced to adopt a more defensive style.

West Ham still managed to pick up a number of draws over that period, but their lack of wins allowed some of the top-four chasing teams to pull away from them.

The Hammers have clawed that gap back with a fully fit squad, but Bilic insists that his side actually benefitted from the adversity they faced earlier in the campaign.

“I told you that injury-wise we were in a really bad position in November and December when we were without six or seven players like Swansea away and West Brom home and Stoke home and Villa away but it was a very important period for us to gain confidence and character because we weren’t losing them,” he said, when asked whether West Ham would be challenging for the title without their previous injury crisis. 

“We were basically drawing them and we showed stubbornness and all that and that was very important.

“If those players were playing in those games we would probably or definitely have more chances to win but then on the other hand maybe that is the reason that we’re playing good now because some players had that little break and came back in January or February very fresh and practically like after pre-season.”

West Ham now are close to having a fully fit squad to choose from, and their form is very impressive.

Bilic’s men have lost just two of their last 20 matches, and they currently sit just two points away from the Champions League spaces.

The Hammers' next match comes against Chelsea on Saturday. 

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