Andy Carroll: West Ham striker can be 'unstoppable'

Allardyce praises 'unstoppable' Carroll

Sam Allardyce says Andy Carroll can be an unstoppable force in the Premier League after West Ham moved up to third with victory against Swansea.

Carroll, 25, headed in his first goals since March either side of half-time as the Hammers won 3-1.

It was only Carroll's fifth appearance this season after a lengthy spell out with an ankle injury.

"He is unstoppable when he gets that space," Allardyce said.

"Movement in the box is what it is all about, the heading ability only comes after the movement is right to give you the space to attack the ball and that happened with his two goals.

"I think when he stands a little too close to defenders and starts fighting them we don't get the best out of him. Hopefully he continues to learn that way."

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Former Hammers striker John Hartson: "Carroll's performance was a superb example of the art of an old-fashioned centre-forward. Swansea simply could not cope with him and it was the sort of display I would have been proud of myself."
Read more:'Andy Carroll shows the art of being a targetman'

Carroll, West Ham's record signing at £15m, returned in November after tearing ankle ligaments in pre-season.

"It is fantastic to be back on the pitch and play as many games as I have in the last few weeks," said Carroll. "There is nothing better than scoring goals as a striker, so I was desperate to get a goal, and it is a great feeling.

"You always have to just think about the positives when injured, the medical staff have helped me a lot and it is credit to them that I am back."

Andy Carroll
Andy Carroll's first strike ended a run of 878 minutes without a Premier League goal

Diafra Sakho scored West Ham's third after Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski had been sent off for a foul on the Senegal striker.

The win, West Ham's third in a row, continued their impressive form so far this season.

They have lost just once in their last nine games and are six points behind second-place Manchester City.

One of Manchester United or Southampton will move above the Hammers when they play each other on Monday, but Allardyce is happy to see a gap developing between themselves and other teams below.

"We are third now and we put a nice gap between ourselves and the teams below us," added Allardyce, whose side are four points clear of sixth-place Arsenal.

"I hope we can stay as consistent as we have been over the last nine games - one defeat in that run and three wins in the last eight days... It shows the importance of three victories in a short period of time."