Allardyce backs Carroll to break duck

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce feels Andy Carroll is targeted for extra attention from opposing defenders as he searches for his first goal for the club.

Football News: Andy Carroll, West Ham vs Stoke

The £35million striker, currently on loan from Liverpool, again failed to find the back of the net as the Hammers were held to a 1-1 draw by Stoke at Upton Park.

Jonathan Walters opened the scoring for the visitors with a smart finish following a well-worked corner routine and Allardyce needed defender Joey O'Brien to hit only his second goal for the club to rescue a point.

Allardyce believes Carroll's reputation means he will always be highlighted as the main threat by opposing teams.

"He is going to attract attention by the fact he is very good at his hold-up play and [because of] his heading ability, and people are going to need to pay particular attention to him," he said.

"He is going to attract one or two defenders around him and that will create spaces elsewhere.

"Andy is not to be frustrated by the fact that he is not scoring at the moment and in fact today [Monday] he didn't get much of a chance to score.

"But I think sooner or later, if we keep concentrating on him making runs into the box and the service we give, he will eventually score."

Carroll looked visibly irritated when Allardyce replaced him with Carlton Cole late in the second half, but the former Blackburn boss felt his side needed fresh impetus after Carroll had put in a busy shift as the lone forward.

"He wants to score a goal and he wants me to leave him on for 90 minutes but at the end of the day he put that much effort in, there are a lot of fresh players on the bench," he said.

"There is Carlton Cole, Matt Taylor and Guy Demel who came on and continued to give us that much more energy to find a winner.

"Fresh players with fresh legs can come on and try and push the opposition and try to score a goal. He will be disappointed, I know, but in the end you make the subs for the benefit of everybody to try and win the game."

West Ham missed out on the chance to move up to fifth in the table following the draw and Allardyce felt his side did enough to win the game after the break.

"In the end we were disappointed we didn't win it, given our second-half performance," he said.

"Stoke were slightly better than us in the first half and we had to recover from what was an extremely good goal.

"Having to come from 1-0 down in any game in the Premier League is difficult.

"When you put that much pressure on the opposition second half you have got to try and a be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, a little bit more quality and composure needed and we probably would have won it, but at the end of the day it is another point."

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan also thought his side were unlucky not to claim all three points .

"We were unlucky in the end and we had enough chances," Nolan told Sky Sports 1.

"It is a great result after going 1-0 down and these lads they make it tough for you, they played well tonight [Monday]. I thought we did, we were unlucky, we were abit gutted because we wanted to get the win to go to fifth."

It was O'Brien's first Premier League goal and Nolan was keen to praise the full-back who joined from Bolton two years ago.

"He had a tough two years out with a bad knee injury," the captain said.

"The way he has come back in the last two years has beem excellent.

"Last year he was fantastic and this year he has been even better, he is getting stronger and stronger.

"All the lads have a great camaraderie we were delighted for him. They are a tough nut to crack."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis revealed his side had been working over the past few days on the corner that unlocked the West Ham defence with just 13 minutes on the clock.

"We have worked on it for the past three days, we tried it five or six times and Jonathan Walters has never scored from it so I'm glad he saved it for today [Monday]."

He added: "I spend a lot of time watching videos and watching teams and I felt if we could do this it would come off. You work on it millions and millions of times.

"All of my career I have always looked for little angles and little areas that we could exploit from set-plays and it is lovely when it comes off."

Pulis has not seen his side win away in the league since a 2-1 victory over Blackburn on January 2 but was pleased with his players' application.

"First half I thought we played well and created the better opportunities and really we needed that second goal. The worst thing that happened to us was half-time. That took the momentum away from us," he said.

"We started very sloppy in the second half, we invited West Ham onto us and they scored a goal and from that point onwards we need to show a lot of resilience and determination as a group not to concede a second."



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update