Carroll coy on national talk

After cementing his new-found status as pin-up boy for the Geordie nation, Andy Carroll insists he's ready to bide his time when it comes to gaining country-wide approval for his goal-scoring exploits.

Franco Baldini, trusted confidant of Fabio Capello, was among those at St James' Park to see the England Under-21 international help himself to a hat-trick in the 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa on Sunday.

It was a display which increased the feeling that Capello, who has kept a close check on the Gateshead-born forward's progress during his tenure, is ready to give the youngster a chance to impress in qualification for the 2012 European Championships, which starts next month.

"This is where I want to play my football and score my goals," a somewhat flattered Carroll insisted when asked about the prospects of a full England cap. "I'll just see what happens with England because Newcastle's my number one priority.

"To go out there, wear the number nine and get a hat-trick in the Premier League has to be what it's all about.

"I was looking forward to coming out at home with number nine on. With the result we got, and me scoring three goals, it was just a fantastic feeling.

"That's all I could have wished for, really. It was a great day for everyone."