Andy Carroll is still not '100 per cent', according to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce

The England striker has been a menace to defences since returning from injury

England World Cup hopeful Andy Carroll is still suffering from a lack of sharpness and fitness after missing the first five months of the season through injury, according to West Ham boss Sam Allardyce.

Carroll moved permanently to Upton Park for a club record £15million before the start of the campaign, but the powerful centre-forward was ruled out until January with a foot problem.

Encouraging performances on his return contributed to an improvement in West Ham's results, but Carroll has scored only twice in his 13 appearances and his form has faded of late.

The 25-year-old will be targeting a place in England's 23-man World Cup squad in June, but Allardyce admits Carroll is still catching up after his spell on the sidelines.

"He's not 100 per cent," Allardyce said.

"He's had no pre-season at all, he's worked very hard, but getting into games at this stage of the season after so long out is hard.

"It's hard to get that ultimate sharpness that you need. Hopefully he can find it.

"He looked sharp when he came back. His enthusiasm and the energy from being so pleased to be back with us carried him through, but that catches up with you when you've been out for so long.

"A little bit of fatigue kicks in. We've got to work through it and hopefully he can finish the season by scoring a few goals for us."

 

West Ham's five senior strikers have netted just 11 league goals this season between them while the club's top scorer is a midfielder - Kevin Nolan with seven.

Allardyce believes the Hammers, currently 12th in the table, would be finishing the season in the top half had Carroll been fit and insists the club need to bolster their attacking options in the summer.

"What we need to do is find an alternative type of front man that scores a few more goals, we'll have to do that," Allardyce said.

"If Andy had been with us all season, we'd be top half, I'm convinced about that.

"Carlton Cole has done a fantastic job but it took him a long time to get going because he didn't join us until after the January window had shut, and Modibo Maiga has struggled since he's been here unfortunately. We would have hoped he'd have done better.

"I'm convinced the front man is the key to how you do in a season, and if we had Andy out on the pitch, match-fit and scoring the goals we know he can with Kevin Nolan, I think we'd be a lot further up the table than we are now."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence