West Ham United are hoping Andy Carroll’s productive double-act with Kevin Nolan will not be derailed by a three-match ban as the Premier League strugglers look to ease their way out of relegation trouble.
Carroll, who has barely featured for the club due to injury since making a permanent move from Liverpool this season, helped set up both of Nolan’s goals in the 2-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday, a partnership which combined to great effect last term while the striker was on loan.
However, the tall forward was sent off shortly after setting up Nolan’s second early in the second half, following an innocuous looking clash with Chico Flores which left the Spaniard rolling theatrically on the Upton Park turf.
The 25-year-old faces a three-match ban if his appeal is not overturned, a loss which would hit West Ham’s hopes of moving up to safety from 18th place.
“Hopefully we get justice in Andy’s decision being overturned,” midfielder Mark Noble told the club’s official website (www.whufc.com).
“(Swansea manager) Michael Laudrup has come out on TV and said it wasn’t a sending off, so that’s good honesty from the man. If we can keep him and Kev firing together, with Jarvo (Matt Jarvis) and Stewart Downing producing crosses, hopefully we can stay solid and push up the table.”
England’s Carroll has recently returned to fitness, having missed the entire season since his 15 million pounds ($24.65 million) move due to ongoing foot injuries, leaving his side short of attacking options.
Written by Steve Milne