He's a miracle - Bilic delighted by Carroll return

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic likened Andy Carroll's return from injury to "a miracle" after the striker made his first Premier League start since August in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Burnley.

Mark Noble's follow-up tap-in after his penalty was saved just before half-time ultimately proved decisive, with Burnley unlucky not to steal a point with a strong second-half display.

Bilic opted not to focus too much on the victory itself – which ended a six-match winless run in the Premier League – but instead Carroll, who proved a physical nuisance in attack as he continued his return from a knee injury.

"It’s no secret I'm a big fan of him [Carroll]," Bilic told reporters. "I'm not a big fan because he's a cousin or relative.

"It's what I see on the training pitch. He is a miracle.

"What he gives to the team is massive."

Although West Ham did eventually see things out, Burnley made it extremely difficult in the second half, with Sam Vokes particularly prominent in attack.

And Bilic acknowledged that it was a real slog before saluting his team's character for keeping a resilient Burnley at bay.

"It was a very important game for us," the Croatian added. "It was a very long game – the longest game we've been involved in.

"Well done to the players, we showed the character. I think we deserved it.

"We dominated the first half. We had shots that hit the post. We had two penalty appeals.

"We should have been ahead by more than one goal looking at the quantity of chances."

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