Hughton impressed by Carroll's strength

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The Independent Football

Chris Hughton maintains any further international recognition for Newcastle striker Andy Carroll would be hard earned.

The 21-year-old England hopeful ended Sunday grabbing the headlines for the right reasons after his header proved enough to beat Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Carroll - who last month pleaded guilty to common assault and was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay £2,500 compensation after an altercation with a man in a nightclub - produced a robust display in front of watching England manager Fabio Capello, which added to those championing his inclusion in the forthcoming squad for the friendly against France at Wembley.

Hughton insisted he had no reservations about selecting Carroll despite the lurid headlines the team would have woken up to, and the Newcastle manager stressed his striker would be rewarded for continued focus on the pitch.

"Andy is mentally very strong. He is a player who is developing, apart from having a prowess in the air, he has given us a mobility which can stretch defenders," Hughton said.

"He has still got a long way to go. Andy is working hard on all aspects on his game and he is certainly going in the right direction.

"For me, being picked for Newcastle United is the most important. Anything which comes from that means he has earned it."

Newcastle broke up play well and were rewarded for a positive collective display which saw them have more possession than Arsenal by moving into the top five on the back of a third successive league victory.

"To come here and get the result we have, I think we deserve to talk about football matters," Hughton said.

"It was a magnificent team effort. This is a very difficult place to come and get a result, let alone a victory.

"You have to be resilient as a team and the moments where we had to defend we did so very well, and you are just looking to get that breakaway.

"Luckily for us, Andy Carroll provided it."

The Newcastle boss added: "We have a team who are a very close-knit group, they work very well for each other and know where they want to be playing their football.

"This performance showed what it meant to each and every one of them."

Hughton's own future has yet to be resolved.

However, the man who guided Newcastle up from the Championship at the first attempt maintained: "There is not anything I can do, all I can do is win as many football matches as I can."