Andy Carroll could 'sit on the bench' following return from suspension, claims West Ham manager Sam Allardyce

The striker is currently serving a three-game ban

Sam Allardyce has challenged his players to shine in the absence of Andy Carroll and suggested they could keep West Ham's most expensive player warming the bench when he returns from suspension.

The Hammers saw a prolonged appeal against Carroll's dismissal against Swansea rejected late last week, leaving Allardyce once again without the services of the England international.

Carroll had featured in just four matches before his red card, after struggling to overcome a troublesome foot injury.

He played a starring role in the 2-0 win against the Swans before being dismissed by Howard Webb - but his team-mates rallied and won without him at Aston Villa on Saturday.

While Carroll was out injured the Hammers looked doomed to a season fighting relegation but, with skipper Kevin Nolan once again leading the way, Allardyce has his side back on track.

Now they face Norwich at home on Tuesday night and also welcome Southampton to Upton Park during Carroll's suspension.

But for Allardyce, who gave fellow strikers Carlton Cole and on-loan Marco Borriello equal chance to prove their worth at Villa, a scenario which saw Carroll not coming straight back into the side would be welcomed.

"What about this?," Allardyce said. "Andy Carroll comes back from suspension, West Ham haven't lost a game and won most of them and Andy Carroll has to sit on the bench. That would be nice.

"Carlton and Marco played a dual role (against Villa) - 45 minutes apiece - which is what I talked to them about before the game.

"I told them 'today will be 45 minutes each for you so give us your best 45 minutes to help your team try and win'.

"Both made a contribution on Saturday and they will have to continue to do so."

Nolan took his goal tally to four in two games with a second-half brace at Villa Park as the West Ham skipper looks to have turned his own season around.

He was heavily criticised for picking up two red cards during a barren run for the Hammers, adding to the growing list of players unavailable to Allardyce.

The 59-year-old suggested at the time that he was considering stripping Nolan of the captaincy but revealed a private meeting had led him to keep his faith in the midfielder.

"Those conversations happen on a rare occasion for me," he said.

"For me keeping confidentiality is critical in a game and life that doesn't keep confidentiality today."

But, while the fortunes of one West Ham midfielder are on the rise, Ravel Morrison's Premier League season appears to be stuttering towards a premature conclusion.

The England Under-21 man starred for the Hammers earlier in the campaign and was arguably the one bright spark during a poor spell for the club.

A drop in form, as well as a niggling groin injury and the return to fitness of other key individuals, have all played their part in keeping Morrison on the fringes of the first team of late.

Allardyce admitted the midfielder faces "severe competition" to work his way back into the West Ham side once he overcomes his groin niggle, while Press Association Sport understands QPR have shown an interest in taking the former Manchester United prospect on loan.

Allardyce wants to see Morrison's injury cleared up and refuted claims the player is set to depart the club until the summer - with Loftus Road believed to be a potential destination.

"At the moment Rav is still complaining about the problem that he had before Christmas to say he has got these rumbling groin problems," said Allardyce.

"At the end of the day he is going to have to decide if he goes for the hernia operation or not and the answer keeps being no - he doesn't need it.

"What we have got to do is get him back training and back in the squad - I haven't heard any rumours any other way in terms of what is happening with Rav."

With captain Nolan scoring four goals in his last two games, coupled with the loan signing of Italy international Antonio Nocerino, Allardyce conceded Morrison's route back into the first-team picture is more difficult than it would have been earlier in the campaign.

"He certainly needs to get back and train with the squad," he added.

"He has to realise now everybody is fit there is severe competition here, especially with the new players as well.

"That severe competition brings pressure on the players that are playing in the first team, knowing that if they perform poorly they could lose their place, which is certainly the case at the moment with the size of the squad - which is good and healthy."


Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning


Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
Arts and Entertainment
A top literary agent has compared online giant Amazon to Isis
arts + entsAndrew Wylie has pulled no punches in criticism of Amazon
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities