Carroll keeps feet on the ground

Andy Carroll will not allow himself to get carried away after taking the first step towards filling the legendary Alan Shearer's boots.

Carroll has been handed the number nine shirt worn with such distinction by the former Magpies skipper, as well as the likes of Jackie Milburn and Malcolm Macdonald before him and the 21-year-old Geordie repaid manager Chris Hughton's confidence in him with a superb hat-trick in Sunday's stunning 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa.



An approving Shearer was among the crowd at St James' Park to witness the feat, as were England boss Fabio Capello's lieutenants Franco Baldini and Stuart Pearce.



However, England Under-21 international Carroll, who has been courted by Scotland on the senior international front and has also attracted interest from a series of Barclays Premier League competitors, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.



He said: "I just concentrate on myself. I know I can play football and score goals like I did, and that's what I go out there to do.



"Obviously, it's great for people to see what I can do, but I'm just happy with the three points and all the lads playing like they did."



That sentiment was mirrored by Hughton in the immediate aftermath of the game, but the former Republic of Ireland international could hardly have been more pleased with the way his fledgling striker responded to the pressure of wearing the number nine shirt for the first time in a Premier League game on Tyneside.



Newcastle were already leading 2-0, courtesy of Joey Barton's piledriver and Kevin Nolan's close-range header when Carroll thumped home his first 11 minutes before the break.



He made it 4-0 with 67 minutes gone and then after Nolan had helped himself to a second, started and finished a flowing move in injury-time to complete his treble, all three of them scored with his left foot, a significant achievement for a man known more for his prowess in the air.



Carroll said: "It was a great game, a great performance by all the lads and getting a hat-trick in the first game of the season at home was just fantastic.



"There were no headers in it, they were all left-footed and really it was just the quality of the balls that went into the box for me to score the goals."



Both Carroll and Hughton know the youngster will have to reproduce that sort of form on a sustained basis if he is to live up to his billing, and the Magpies were today one of several clubs linked with an interest in Manchester City's Paraguay international Roque Santa Cruz.



However, team-mate Jose Enrique has been hugely impressed by the academy graduate and is convinced he can score the goals the club need to achieve their first objective for the season, top-flight survival.



The Spaniard said: "I have told him I hope he scores 100 goals this season because it would be good for us!



"He is a young lad and he has to learn a lot, like me, but if he continues the same way, he can win a lot of games for us.



"I said to him after the game, it was not just his goals, he was really, really good.



"Being a striker here is very difficult because Alan Shearer is a legend.



"But Andy is a striker who is good with his head, he's strong and he is going to be very important for us."



Newcastle return to action on Wednesday evening when they travel to League Two side Accrington in the Carling Cup second round ahead of Saturday's tricky league visit to Wolves.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London