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By ESPN Staff

Hammers chief: Squad needs trimming

West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury admits Alan Curbishley's squad needs trimming but expects current first-team regulars to be retained. Duxbury has predicted only fringe players and reserves being put up for sale in the summer, regardless of recent suggestions that their wage bill needs slashing. It means the likes of Freddie Ljungberg, Craig Bellamy and Lucas Neill are expected to stay at Upton Park as the club look to qualify for Europe. 'Our squad is too big,' said Duxbury in the Echo. 'But we only plan to sell players that are not close to getting into the team. 'We have a very young, talented team and experienced star players - like Freddie Ljungberg, Craig Bellamy and Lucas Neill - are very important in helping those talents develop. They are role models.' Duxbury stated European football as the goal of the club, although their mid-table finish this season will still be an improvement on the relegation battle they faced a year ago. Boss Curbishley had to deal with an injury crisis all campaign and has still been jeered for negative tactics. 'It has been a long season and a major improvement on what was achieved last year,' said full-back George McCartney on WHUTV. 'You give fans that improvement and people always seem to want more.' McCartney featured against Derby on Saturday, his 50th consecutive appearance for the Hammers. He added: 'Some players have played 40 games this season and now it starts to catch up on the whole squad. I think you have seen in that in the last few weeks.' .