Billy McKinlay bullish as West Ham eye Carabao Cup history against Liverpool

Billy McKinlay bullish as West Ham eye Carabao Cup history against Liverpool

West Ham assistant manager Billy McKinlay is confident the Irons have what it takes to find a way past Liverpool and reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

The Hammers have never won a League Cup contest at Anfield, losing there in a 1973 second-round replay and in a 1983 fifth-round encounter, two years after falling to Liverpool in the final replay at Villa Park after drawing 1-1 at Wembley.

McKinlay is especially encouraged by his side's recent form, which has seen them win seven of their last nine matches across all competitions, including Sunday's 3-0 Premier League victory over Wolves.

He told a press conference ahead of Wednesday's quarter-final clash with the Reds: "Success and winning gives you a couple of things - it makes you hungry for more and it gives you a feeling that you're capable of doing it and being successful and winning things.

"I think that's been the case for our good run in the Europa League and we've done the business there.

"We're in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup so we're in a good place at the moment, we're hungry and looking to improve on that.

"I think that the fact we've finished seventh and sixth in recent years suggests we're also a ˜good league team' as well, so if we can marry the two we can come up with that we're not a bad team.

"We've still got work to do and things to improve, but I think over the last two-and-a-half years we've shown that we're a decent team capable of winning games and going deep into competitions, so we've got confidence from that and Wednesday will be another big game."

McKinlay revealed there was "a little bit of illness lingering" around camp, so there may be some late availability calls made following Tuesday's training session.

It is not just cup contests at Anfield that seem to challenge the Hammers, who have just one victory there in 60 years, beating the Reds 3-0 in a 2015 Premier League clash.

Despite the intimidating atmosphere - and a crowded fixture list - McKinlay feels both the squad depth and confidence are there to make history on Wednesday night.

He added: "We've got a new group of players going up there and there is no reason to have any trepidation and we won't have any mindset other than ˜this will be a tough game and we're going to have to play well to win the game'.

"We're rising to the challenge, hopefully, so we need to keep working hard, keep our feet on the ground and keep going, and that's what we'll do."

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