West Ham boss Curbishley defends record

West Ham United boss Alan Curbishley believes they've been wrongly judged this season because of their heavy injury problems.

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"Our injury situation falls into three categories," Curbishley said.

"We have got five or six permanent injuries which are long-term and impact injuries. These are broken legs, ruptured Achilles and cruciate ligaments.

"We have got four players who have had stomach injuries for most of the season. These have been Lee Bowyer, Matthew Etherington, Craig Bellamy and Danny Gabbidon, and we have not got to grips with them.

"Then you add the three or four wear-and-tear injuries, a hamstring or calf that every club gets, and it takes you up to 14.

"It's been a tough and frustrating season for the players on that casualty list. We are doing everything we can to try and get it right."

Curbishley continued: "Week-in, week-out, we cannot keep a settled side. People talk to me about last year and the run-in. Well the last nine games I think we used 13 players - it was the first time I could play the same team every week.

"I have never been in that position this year let alone been able to pick from a fully fit squad.

"We have got a big squad and thankfully that has held us in good stead. I know I have got a big squad and if everybody was fit I would have a few problems - but they are not.

"When I get everybody fit I think I will have a decent squad and I am hoping that is going to come to fruition after the summer.

"This group of players have stood up most weeks to be counted when we have unbelievable problems. So, I think we should have more appreciation."

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