Carroll fires reminder to Hodgson
Andy Carroll hopes his impressive brace against West Brom will persuade Roy Hodgson that he deserves an England recall this summer.
- Related Content
Carroll has endured a difficult time at Upton Park since he joined on loan from Liverpool last August, but the 24-year-old looked back to his best on Saturday, terrorising the West Brom defence in a vital 3-1 win which was watched by the England manager.
Carroll powered a bullet header past Ben Foster to put the hosts 1-0 and he then scored an exquisite volley, watching James Collins' long ball down on to his right boot before firing home first time, to seal the win following Gary O'Neil's strike.
Carroll featured heavily in England's European Championship campaign, but a drop in form and fitness meant he was excluded from the latest World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
The towering hitman, who has nine international caps, hopes he can repeat the kind of performance he showed yesterday for the rest of the season so he can persuade Hodgson to include him in his squad for the summer friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
Carroll said: "I hope to play in every game for England but I've haven't been picked, so I've just got to work hard here at West Ham and hopefully I'll be involved next time."
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce underlined his desire to keep Carroll beyond the end of the season, when his loan is due to expire.
Carroll has struggled to live up to his billing, both at Liverpool and West Ham, as a £35million striker, but the way in which he terrorised Jonas Olsson at Upton Park was reminiscent of the kind of bruising display he used to put in every week for Newcastle.
The Gateshead-born hitman now hopes he has proved a few of his doubters wrong.
"I was putting myself about and got two goals, so that's what I like to think I'm about," he told West Ham TV.
"Obviously I like to score goals, so getting two shows that I've got it.
"I'm feeling good with the lads and everyone is coming together and we're playing well at home. It was a great win.
"The lads worked hard and I got my two goals and we got the three points, so it was a great day."
Despite other results going against them, West Ham are now all but safe. Two points from their remaining eight games should be enough to secure survival.
Baggies manager Steve Clarke said: "With the number of games they have left they were never a team I thought were candidates for relegation.
"There are teams further down the league who have more cause to be nervous than West Ham.
"A first-half save from Romelu Lukaku's free-kick aside, Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen had next to nothing to do until he picked Graham Dorrans' consolation penalty out of the net in the dying minutes.
Clarke was annoyed at his team's lax marking for all three goals, but backed the Baggies to recover.
"The defending was the most disappointing thing," said Clarke, who was West Ham's assistant manager for two years.
"Normally we defend well so to concede two goals in the manner we did is disappointing. The goals we conceded were poor. It's something we have to address and rectify.
"We have not had this feeling too many times so we have to dust ourselves down and bounce back next week against Arsenal."
Clarke will hold talks with midfielder Youssof Mulumbu on Sunday after he was sent off in injury time for petulantly booting the ball at O'Neil.
"He probably did it out of frustration," Clarke said.