West Ham must not panic over slow start to the season, says Kevin Nolan

The Hammers have won just one of their opening six fixtures

Kevin Nolan has told his West Ham team-mates they must not panic despite their poor start to the season.

West Ham finished 10th last season but they have struggled so far this term, winning just one of their opening six fixtures.

The absence of injured striker Andy Carroll has hit the east London club hard as they have only been able to find the net five times.

To make matters worse, fixtures against Tottenham and Manchester City are just around the corner, but the Hammers captain is not a concerned man.

"We can't afford to panic," midfielder Nolan told West Ham's website.

"We understand the position we're in. I've been in this type of position at this stage of the season before.

"At the minute, things are just not falling for us and refereeing decisions are absolutely killing us.

"Tottenham are in a great run of form but it's a local derby and we're going to go there with nothing to lose and have a good go at them.

"Hopefully it'll be the start of the little run that we need."

Carroll's absence was felt more than ever during last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Hull, where the Hammers lacked penetration in the final third.

All West Ham's goals have come from midfield with Modibo Maiga, Mladen Petric and Ricardo Vaz Te all failing to find the net in the Barclays Premier League.

Nolan wants them to make the step up in the coming games and he also hopes free agent Carlton Cole will play his part if he persuades manager Sam Allardyce to give him a short-term contract.

"When your major signing cost £15million and he's not playing, it's going to affect you, but it's down to the lads to step up to the plate," Nolan added.

"Mo [Maiga] has had a few chances on Saturday and he probably could have done better with a couple, but it wasn't to be.

"At the end of the day, we've just got to keep fighting and creating the chances and one of them will go in.

"Mladen Petric is getting up to full speed with us and we've got Carlton Cole who is going to join in with us soon in training.

"Hopefully we'll start creating more and better chances and converting them."

West Ham have not put a date on Carroll's return from an Achilles injury, but the striker has been keeping fans updated with his treatment through an online diary that charts his work with Belgian physio Lieven Maesschalck.

Carroll praised West Ham fans for the support they have given him during his rehab.

"I just want to say a big thanks to all our fans that are sending me good luck and supportive messages," Carroll wrote in his latest diary entry.

"It means a lot and I am looking to be back as soon as I can to do my bit for the team."

PA

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