Big Sam rues lack of firepower but Nolan talks up to Carroll-Cole partnership
21:00 GMT, 23 September 2012
Striking fear in the opposition West Ham forward Carlton Cole (left) in action on Saturday
Sam Allardyce bemoaned West Ham's lack of cutting edge after the 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Upton Park as Kevin Nolan warned that Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll will 'scare the life out of defenders' if the strikers play together.
West Ham had 20 shots on target on Saturday while Sunderland managed only four, but Allardyce’s side could not force an equaliser until Nolan scored his third goal of the campaign in the 93rd minute.
‘We missed too many chances,’ said Allardyce. ‘We have a chink in our armour by not converting the chances we created. That is a concern.
‘Our heading ability is very good. We had headed chances, but in the end it is not good enough.
‘The good thing is creating those chances — and so many as a newly promoted side. So I just need to work on the lads improving their finishing.’
Carroll is back in training after suffering a hamstring injury on his debut and Nolan believes the England striker could form a formidable partnership with Cole, who has not scored since the Championship play-off final in May.
To the rescue: Kevin Nolan saved a point for West Ham against Sunderland
Nolan, 30, said: ‘It’s going to be interesting to see when they’re both fit if they play together, because they’ll scare the life out of defenders — as long as I’m playing with them, not against them. I’m sure at some point we’ll see that.
‘Andy’s settled in well to what we’re about. He seems at ease. You always miss quality players but we have others like Cole, who has come in and done a good job. He’s going to be vital for us. Just knowing you’ve got those two in your ranks is brilliant.’