Slaven Bilic denies Joe Hart’s axing for West Ham's Carabao Cup clash with Spurs is due to Brighton blunder

Ross McLean
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West Ham United v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League
Joe Hart endured a difficult start to his Hammers career and received criticism for Brighton's second goal on Friday (Source: Getty)

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has denied Joe Hart’s axing for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup showdown with Tottenham is a consequence of the England goalkeeper’s error against Brighton on Friday.

Hart has received criticism for his failure to repel Jose Izquierdo’s strike as Brighton departed the London Stadium with a commanding 3-0 Premier League victory, which left the Hammers 16th and clear of the relegation on goal difference only.

The 30-year-old recovered after enduring a difficult start to his West Ham career, conceding 10 goals in his first three matches, although back-up stopper Adrian will take his place between the posts against Spurs.

“Against Brighton we made a few mistakes and shipped three goals,” said Bilic. “But it’s not because of that Adrian will be in goal. It was a plan from the beginning of the season and Adrian did well in his [League Cup] games.”

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele, meanwhile, who has been sidelined since the previous round with a hip injury, has this week returned to training.

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