Tag Archives: margins

Brian McDermott says Reading can upset Christmas trend and avoid relegation

McDermott backing rock-bottom Reading to beat history and avoid the drop

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Brian McDermott is ignoring that old statistic about the fate awaiting the Premier League's bottom club at Christmas, and will instead focus on some altogether more positive facts and figures to kickstart Reading's bid for survival.

West Brom remain the only team in the Premier League era to stay up after being in Reading's current position, but McDermott has told his players to use their success in winning promotion against all the odds last season as a source of inspiration.

They were 16th in the Championship table in November, and trailed pacesetters Southampton and West Ham by huge margins before winning 15 of the last 17 games to finish top of the table.

We can do it: Brian McDermott says Reading can still survive

We can do it: Brian McDermott says Reading can still survive

Another Herculean effort is required in the second half of this season after Reading suffered a seventh successive defeat at Manchester City on Saturday. But McDermott remains optimistic they can do it again as he prepares to face Swansea at the Madejski Stadium on Boxing Day.

Asked about the gloomy Christmas statistic, he replied: 'West Brom have done it, so it is doable.

'My view on that is that if you're 20 points off the lead, which we were at one point last season, and then go and win it I'm not sure anyone has done that before.

'It's a decent stat. We were loads and loads of points behind West Ham and Southampton and still managed to win the league. So it shows what this team can do.

Foul Barry clambered over Nicky Shorey as he scored for City

Foul Barry clambered over Nicky Shorey as he scored for City

Record of Premier League's bottom club at Christmas

Record of Premier League's bottom club at Christmas

'Our players are winners. They were
champions last season in the Championship. The year before that they got
to the Playoff Final. The year before we were in a relegation spot and
won loads of games.

'What
I've found with our players is that they are incredibly resilient. What
I've found about myself is that I'm incredibly resilient.' McDermott and
his players must pick themselves up after Gareth Barry broke their
hearts with a winner in the second minute of added time at the Etihad
Stadium.

Reading were furious that referee Mike Dean did not rule the goal out for a push on Nicky Shorey.

But once the anger subsided, McDermott was able to draw some positives from a fine performance against the Premier League champions.

'We're in a results business, ' he added. 'We're confident with 20 games to go that if we play like that we can get results.

'I've not had one in the last seven games but, results wise, my record in the last two-and-a-half years has been good.'

Boxer Kieran Farrell rushed to hospital after losing to Anthony Crolla in Manchester

Farrell recovering in hospital following collapse after first defeat to Crolla

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UPDATED:

11:40 GMT, 8 December 2012

Manchester boxer Kieran Farrell collapsed and was rushed to hospital after suffering his first professional defeat against Anthony Crolla.

The 22-year-old, who had won his first 14 fights, was carried out on a stretcher and given oxygen after the brutal 10-round bout at Bowlers Arena in Trafford Park on Friday night.

Farrell was reported to be suffering from
extreme exhaustion but was recovering in hospital and is expected to be released on Sunday.

Concern: Kieran Farrell receives medical attention on a stretcher as he collapsed after the fight

Concern: Kieran Farrell receives medical attention on a stretcher as he collapsed after the fight

Crolla, who won the
English lightweight title fight on points, said: 'It's just a sport. I'm happy to win the
title, but first and foremost I hope he's okay. His well being is the main
thing.'

The unbeaten Farrell took the fight to Crolla in the early stages and had the upper hand in what was developing into a barnstorming contest.

Concern: Kieran Farrell receives medical attention on a stretcher as he collapsed after the fight

But as the fight entered the sixth
round, Crolla began to edge ahead, using his jab to good effect and by
the penultimate round, Farrell was tiring after his fast start and
collapsed before the scores could be announced.

Crolla, who moves to 25-4, was
awarded the victory by margins of 99-92, 96-94 and 99-93.He will now aim
to fight the winner of Martin Gethin vs Ben Murphy for the British
title in 2013.

Brutal: Crolla (left) beat Farrell on points

Brutal: Crolla (left) beat Farrell on points

Brendan Rodgers lauds Jordan Henderson after winner against Udinese

Rodgers lauds Henderson after winner at Udinese sends Liverpool into Europa League knockout stages

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UPDATED:

23:05 GMT, 6 December 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised match-winner Jordan Henderson for the goal against Udinese which put them through to the last 32 of the Europa League but accepted it was by the finest of margins.

Henderson's first European goal, and only third since his 16milllion summer 2011 transfer, put the Reds top of Group A but there was almost a sting in the tail.

Udinese, who had Giovanni Pasquale sent off 10 minutes from the end, almost snatched the draw which would have sent Liverpool crashing out with the last kick of the game when captain Antonio di Natale blasted over.

Job done: Rodgers and Henderson embrace at the final whistle

Job done: Rodgers and Henderson embrace at the final whistle

Young Boys' victory over Anzhi meant Liverpool had to win to progress and Henderson's first-half strike meant they finished group winners.

'He is a great lad and works hard and has come in over the last month and made a good contribution to the team,' said Rodgers of the midfielder, who has been a fringe player for most of the season.

'It was a very good finish and he was unfortunate not to get a second goal as the keeper made a wonderful save.

'He has that quality to arrive in the box and he has a finish in him so I am delighted for him and his hard work is paying off.'

Winner: Henderson is mobbed by his team-mates after his first-half strike

Winner: Henderson is mobbed by his team-mates after his first-half strike

Had Di Natale scored the inquest would have begun on where it had gone wrong for Rodgers – undoubtedly conceding a late equaliser to Young Boys a fortnight ago – but the miss kept the European bandwagon rolling.

'It is that moment when there is literally 20 seconds left and we've given away the ball. It was very close,' admitted the Northern Irishman.

'Hopefully it is a sign we have a little bit of luck going our way because maybe a couple of months back that would have gone in and we would be out of the competition.

Close call: Di Natale nearly equalised for Udinese with the last kick of the game

Close call: Di Natale nearly equalised for Udinese with the last kick of the game

'There was no margin for error tonight, I felt we had to win the game because we were in a difficult group against good teams.

'Over the course of all the games, how we have played and progressed through the tournament I think we are deserved winners of the group.

'We can rest well, focus on the league and look forward to next February.'

Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin, whose side had already been eliminated before kick-off, was pleased with the performance.

Top of the pile: Rodgers' side advance after winning their group

Top of the pile: Rodgers' side advance after winning their group

'I want to thank my team because they have gone out of the competition with dignity and their heads held high,' he said.

'They showed they could give Liverpool a game. We finished with four points so it is right we should go out, but the mistakes we made in this competition were not made tonight.

'I would have preferred if Luis Suarez had scored a wonder goal, but it was from a set-piece and I am unhappy about that.'

Ben Youngs backs England to beat New Zealand

Youngs backs England to shock All Blacks with first win in nine years

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ben Youngs has urged his fellow England players to produce the ‘big performance’ to beat the All Blacks for the first time since 2003, at Twickenham, on Saturday.

The Leicester scrum-half is remaining upbeat despite the narrow defeats to Australia and South Africa over the past two weekends.

‘New Zealand are the No 1 side in the world and on paper people will say they are the better team, but what a great opportunity to topple over the best side.

We can do it: Ben Youngs believes England can beat New Zealand

We can do it: Ben Youngs believes England can beat New Zealand

‘We don’t play them very often. For us, there is no fear and we won’t go into our shells, we shall have a go.

‘We have a big performance in us. It’s been coming and if we get it right for 80 minutes we will challenge any team.’

Youngs insists England have made progress and singled out the improved break down play against South Africa last Saturday.

He is still shaking his head, though, at how England conceded a try after he tried to fly hack a ball out of his own 22.

The ball then hit JP Pietersen and bounced off Ben Morgan into the arms of Springbok flanker Willem Alberts.

Gutted: England lost to South Africa

Gutted: England lost to South Africa

‘I could kick that ball a thousand times and it would never happen like that. It was just one of those things.

‘We have been on the wrong end of some tough results. Test match rugby is ruthless and it showed that at the weekend when a try from a charge down was the difference – that’s what it came down to. The margins are so small.’

Youngs was thrilled to start an international for the first time alongside his elder brother Tom, the hooker.

And he had special reason to thank him when he quickly joined in to help him in a second-half spat with Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth.

‘I was going to drop him (Etzebeth),’ joked the scrum-half ‘but I thought he was not worth it.

‘I knew big brother would come and save me and I found myself at the back very quickly. I decided to get out very quick and leave it to all the other newts (the forwards) to pile in.’

Unites States Grand Prix 2012: Ferrari bend rules with Felipe Massa gearbox change

Ferrari bend rules to seal Alonso advance after hitting their own driver with five-place penalty

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UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 18 November 2012

Ferrari bent the rules and rode their luck to keep Fernando Alonso's title challenge alive by the slenderest of margins with one race remaining.

The team broke the seal on Felipe Massa's gearbox before the race to incur a five-place grid penalty, thus promoting his tem-mate Alonso to seventh on the grid, and the clean side of the track.

The Spaniard, who made the most of the dubious tactic to catapult himself to fourth place by Turn One, said: 'We know our championship is still alive thanks to the first lap. It was not possible to challenge these two guys – they were too far ahead but this podium, after a difficult weekend, is like a victory for us. Only Sebastian is in a better position than us so we should be proud of ourselves.'

Podium finish: Alonso finished third after making three places off the start-line

Podium finish: Alonso finished third after gaining three places off the start-line

Fortune then favoured the brave when Mark Webber was forced to retire on lap 17 with yet another alternator issue, a failure which moved Alonso into third.

Even a tardy pit stop was not enough to end Alonso hopes as Lewis Hamilton did his former McLaren sparring partner a huge favour by grabbing the lead from Sebastian Vettel on lap 42 before fending off the German.

Recovery drive: Massa started in 11th after Ferrari changed his gearbox

Recovery drive: Massa started in 11th after Ferrari changed his gearbox

Delighted at earning a victory for McLaren before departing for Mercedes next season, Hamilton said: 'I am so happy. It has been a long, long time since we had a win. It gives me a huge amount of satisfaction to be able to beat Red Bull and Sebastian. They were incredibly strong but we were able to do it. It was very difficult to get past. I knew that lap was going to be our chance so I turned the engine up and I got past. I rubbed the car and said, “Come on baby, we can make it”. To finish on a high is really special. Hopefully we can go to Brazil with the same pace.'

Vettel needs to finish inside the top four to be guaranteed of a third successive world title in Brazil next weekend.

He said: 'We have been very quick in Brazil in the last few years and we have increased the lead in the championship so I think we are in a very good position.'

Frankie Gavin takes Junior Witter"s British welterweight title after unanimous points decision

The future's bright for Gavin after beating Witter to claim British welterweight title

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UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 2 November 2012

Frankie Gavin suggested he may yet realise his undoubted potential by dethroning veteran champion Junior Witter to claim the British welterweight title at York Hall.

The 27-year-old had not fought since May and had mustered just 13 bouts since turning professional over four years ago but proved too strong for Witter who suffered his sixth career defeat in a dull affair.

Gavin, who remains Britain's only world amateur champion, extended his unbeaten record at the iconic London venue and will have his sights set on bigger prizes in 2013.

Celebrate good times: Frankie Gavin is hoisted off the canvas after beating Junior Witter by a unanimous points decision

Celebrate good times: Frankie Gavin is hoisted off the canvas after beating Junior Witter by a unanimous points decision

Witter, 38, won a world title six years ago and claimed the British belt for a second time earlier this year but despite starting brightly, quickly ran out of ideas and was outpointed by margins of 119-109, 117-110 and 117-112.

A tense and cagey opening round was shaded by Witter who produced the cleaner blows while an accidental clash of heads left Gavin with a small cut on the bridge of his nose.

The Birmingham man's face continued to mark up in the second as Witter, a product of the same Wincobank Gym as fellow welterweight Kell Brook, used his right hand to good effect.

Deploying his tried and tested switch-hitting style, Witter banked another round as he continued to control the fight and prevent Gavin from letting his hands go, as highlighted by the younger man's corner.

Breaking out in a sweat: Gavin connects with a savage left jab

Breaking out in a sweat: Gavin connects with a savage left jab

The fourth session was something of a non event with neither man boxing on the front foot but Gavin delivered a timely reminder of his punching power in the next with two solid lefts over the top and although Witter returned the favour later in the round, he conceded his first of the night.

And Gavin, the won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, continued to work his way back into the contest as it reached the halfway stage while Witter fell to the canvas when attempting a rather wild shot.

The bout may have been entering the second half but neither man looked keen to grab it by the scruff of the neck although Gavin looked to have the momentum. He was however warned for hitting the back of the head, something not helped by Witter's tendency to turn away from his opponent.

Gavin was growing in confidence as he took the fight to his opponent and Witter's reluctance to engage provoked his trainer Dominic Ingle to read the riot act at the end of the eighth round.

On the front foot: Witter feels the force of a Gavin attack

On the front foot: Witter feels the force of a Gavin attack

But the champion failed to land a noteworthy punch in the next as the fight slipped away from him and although Gavin was far from fluent, he was doing enough to edge the rounds and increase his narrow advantage.

Witter's efforts to haul himself back into the contest resulted only in him pushing Gavin through the ropes in the tenth stanza and the messy exchanges continued until the former was deducted a point for continued holding which all but ended his brief second reign as domestic No 1.

Witter by now required a knockout to retain his title and he looked for such a punch in the penultimate session but succeeded only in falling significantly short.

The punch never came and Gavin safely saw out the final three minutes to confirm his superiority on all three scorecards.

Getting in a tangle: Gavin gets caught up in the ropes after stumbling

Getting in a tangle: Gavin gets caught up in the ropes after stumbling

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce reveals the importance of supplements to top clubs

Most top clubs love a coffee, says West Ham boss Allardyce

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 18 October 2012

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has talked about the importance of supplements to the modern footballer.

Allardyce said: 'It is only about eight years ago that everyone spoke about how pasta was an important food for footballers.

Daily grind: West Hams boss is a coffee convert

Daily grind: West Hams boss is a coffee convert

'Things have moved on rapidly since. Pasta remains important but it is only a fuel. It's got no nutritional value in it – it just helps you run around.

'A lot of players take supplements and, if you look at the small margins you need to get better, it's important to do so.'

The Hammers boss said caffeine, which was on the banned list a few years ago, is now used widely.

He said: 'At West Ham, we have caffeine in many shapes and sizes. Standard coffee, short shots and tablets. But it is all based on a spiking scenario.

'Caffeine makes you feel good before you play. You don't use it every day, otherwise you nullify the effect of it.

'Clubs might say they don't use it before games but I know most do.

'We have supplements to take for different periods of the year. In winter, there's a vitamin D deficiency because of the lack of natural sunlight, so supplements are available for that. Also, you don't get the same nutrition out of fruit and veg as we used to.

'Players run their body to a very high level so the improvement and recuperation of resources have to be on a daily basis.

'Supplements are a necessity in terms of having a well-balanced diet.'

Lewis Hamilton told to commit to McLaren or go to Mercedes by Martin Whitmarsh

Commit to McLaren or go, Whitmarsh tells Hamilton after 60m Mercedes offer

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UPDATED:

10:37 GMT, 8 September 2012

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has warned Lewis Hamilton: We want you to stay only if you’re 100 per cent committed.

Whitmarsh conceded Hamilton must prove he has not had his head turned by Mercedes’ offer to join them next season on a 60million, three-year deal.

‘Ultimately, a driver has to drive where he is happy to drive,’ said Whitmarsh. ‘So the team and I don’t want anyone who is not 100 per cent committed to it. You can’t work like that. I’ve made that clear from the outset.’

That's more like it: Lewis Hamilton impressed

That's more like it: Lewis Hamilton impressed

Hamilton has the edge in final practice

Hamilton edged home hero Alonso in final practice by the slenderest of margins on Saturday morning. Just one thousandth of a second separated Hamilton and championship leader Alonso.

Whitmarsh further admitted that, while he has received ‘assurances’ from Hamilton’s management company XIX Entertainment and while talks over a new contract are at an ‘advanced stage’, McLaren may yet be in for a nasty surprise.

‘Lots of very positive things have been said to me,’ said Whitmarsh ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix. ‘But then again, I’ve learned over the years that, until people support that by inking the paper, you don’t get too excited.’

Both Hamilton and McLaren have been happy to let self-imposed deadlines come and go. But Mercedes’ offer means McLaren cannot drag their heels for much longer.

Promising: Hamilton shrugged aside speculation to post the fastest time

Promising: Hamilton shrugged aside speculation to post the fastest time

‘It’s a fairly incestuous paddock,’ said Whitmarsh. ‘So you tend to know, certainly if you have been around over 20 years, what’s going on.’

There is also the small matter that, should Hamilton plump for Mercedes, he will leave with a host of secrets about next season’s McLaren.

Of a driver’s knowledge of their team’s designs for next season, Jenson Button said: ‘Unless they wear blinkers they have seen lots. We go through the whole season working on next season’s car.’

Such issues are further elements for McLaren to consider around the negotiating table. But Whitmarsh is adamant Hamilton’s future is not proving a distraction to either team or driver.

On the Button: Jenson was looking strong again

On the Button: Jenson was looking strong again at Monza amid the speculation surrounding his team-mate

On the Button: Jenson was second fastest on Friday morning

‘I don’t think it has unsettled the team actually,’ insisted Whitmarsh. ‘We are here trying to go motor racing.’

Button, who knows a thing or two about switching teams, agreed with his boss. He said: ‘I don’t think we can always put our bad performances down to our heads not being in the right place. You either do a good job or a bad job.

‘But you should, as a driver, be able to take yourself away, work with the engineers and focus on the important things.’

Italian Grand Prix

Trying to secure three McLaren wins on the trot is the most important thing for Whitmarsh this weekend. The signs are already promising, with Hamilton fastest in second practice on Friday, a whisker ahead of Button.

But, whether Hamilton bounces back from his first lap crash in Belgium with a first win at Monza or Button makes it back-to-back victories following his dominant display at Spa, the question, ‘Is there life after Lewis’ will not be far away.

London 2012 Paralympics: Britain win gold and silver tendem sprint

Brits sign off in style: Tandem sprint gold and silver as cyclists edge out China to be crowned kings of the velodrome

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 2 September 2012

The 12th and final time God Save the Queen was played inside the Olympic Velodrome was to honour Anthony Kappes, the gold medallist in the men’s tandem sprint for blind and visually impaired athletes with his pilot, Craig MacLean.

There was another British duo, silver medallists Neil Fachie and Barney Storey, on the podium as the hosts dominated this 90million arena again.

Great Britain won 12 of the 28 gold medals available here at the Olympics and Paralympics, amassing 24 medals in all, but the rest are catching up. ParalympicsGB topped the medal table in track cycling but could not match the seven Olympic gold medals won earlier this summer.

Success: Anthony Kappes (left) and Craig MacLean with their gold medals and Neil Fachie and Barney Storey (right) with their silver

Success: Anthony Kappes (left) and Craig MacLean with their gold medals and Neil Fachie and Barney Storey (right) with their silver

Britain conquer the track

It was five Paralympic gold medals this time — a significant drop from the 12 won four years ago in Beijing. Britain’s mixed C1 to C5 sprint team of Jon-Allan Butterworth, Darren Kenny and Rick Waddon were only beaten by 65-thousandths-of-a-second by China on Sunday so it was still a silver and not the gold they so desperately wanted.

The competition categories have been changed and amalgamated since the last Paralympics. Gareth Sheppard, performance manager of British Para-cycling, believes the parameters will be changed again in time for Rio 2016.

‘We have to adapt to the environment,’ he
said. ‘Paralympic cycling is becoming more like able-bodied Olympic
sport. The margins of victory are becoming thousandths of a second.’

MacLean, who represented Britain at
the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, added: ‘I don’t think anybody in
British Cycling anticipated it would be quite as dominant as it was in
Beijing, but we have proven that we are the best.

Roared on: MacLean (left) and Kappes celebrate

Roared on: MacLean (left) and Kappes celebrate

‘The
UCI (cycling’s governing body) will probably change the rules and
regulations to our detriment again — if it does we will come out
fighting.’

But Britain won four more medals on the final day of competition in the Velodrome and there will surely be more to come on the road when the action begins at Brands Hatch on Wednesday.

There was a second Paralympic medal for
Aileen McGlynn and pilot Helen Scott in the women’s 3,000m individual
pursuit, following on from the pair’s silver in the 1km time trial.
McGlynn and Scott faced compatriots Lora Turnham and Fiona Duncan in the
final — the first all-British affair of the afternoon.

The race is on: Storey (pilot) and Fachie lead Jose Enrique Porto Lareo and Jose Antonio Villanueva Trinidad (pilot) of Spain

The race is on: Storey (pilot) and Fachie lead Jose Enrique Porto Lareo and Jose Antonio Villanueva Trinidad (pilot) of Spain

The other came when Kappes and MacLean faced Fachie and Storey, the gold medallists in the 1km time trial on Saturday.

Kappes and MacLean were disqualified from the time trial after suffering mechanical problems with the chain on their tandem. In their absence, Fachie and Storey, who is married to nine-time Paralympic gold medallist Sarah, took gold in world-record time.

Kappes, 39, said on Saturday ‘it was like the cat had died’. He and MacLean ‘felt robbed, bereft of something’.

On Sunday they made sure they didn’t go home feeling like that again, leading the first race all the way before overtaking Fachie and Storey with just over a lap to go in the second. The time trial gold medallists initially seemed to protest the move was illegal as they gave up the chase, but the result was soon ratified.

Celebration: The athletes lap up the applause

Celebration: The athletes lap up the applause

Storey said: ‘Craig and Anthony were faster than us today. We had a collision, it sometimes happens. But it would not have changed the result.’

Jody Cundy, who was disqualified from the C4/5 time-trial on Friday, was left out of Britain’s team sprint and tweeted about his ‘masses of disappointment’. Britain were disappointed too, missing out on the gold by millimetres as China broke the world record.

But Kenny still became the most decorated Para-cyclist of all time, overtaking Australia’s Christopher Scott by winning his 10th Paralympic medal.

‘Silver’s the wrong colour, but buy me a pint,’ he said. ‘That will stop the pain.’

West Ham worried over Andy Carroll injury

Hammer blow for Carroll as Allardyce fears hamstring injury is worse than first thought

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 2 September 2012

West Ham fear Andy Carroll's hamstring injury is worse than expected. The problem showed no sign of improvement on Sunday which suggests it is 'significant'.

The Hammers were hoping Carroll would be out for just three weeks and fit to return for the home game against Sunderland on September 22.

That now seems unlikely and he will have a complete scan on Monday.

Worry: West Ham are concerned about Andy Carroll's hamstring injury

Worry: West Ham are concerned about Andy Carroll's hamstring injury

Early exit: Carroll needed treatment before hobbling off against Fulham

Early exit: Carroll needed treatment before hobbling off against Fulham

Sam Allardyce, though, insists that once fit again, Carroll will relish being the 'big fish in a small pond' at Upton Park.

That seems an odd statement to make
about the most expensive British footballer – you would expect a player
who cost 35million to be a dominant figure in any team.

But Carroll often seemed overwhelmed
at Liverpool and had been on the margins of the first team, especially
since the new manager came in.

Despite being seemingly unwanted at
Liverpool, Allardyce revealed that Carroll was not keen to swap Anfield
for Upton Park, saying: 'He didn't want to leave, but he had to accept
that Brendan Rodgers wanted to go down a different route, which every
manager's entitled to.

'We're not as big a club as Liverpool but Andy can come and play first-team football in the Premier League.'

He certainly relished being the big
fish on Saturday. He made a dream start to his Claret-and-blue debut,
flicking the ball on for Ricardo Vaz Te to set up Kevin Nolan to score
after 53 seconds of the 3-0 win over Fulham.

Carroll also unsettled the visiting
defence in the build-up to Matt Taylor's third goal, which came after
Winston Reid's header. Carroll benefits from an arm round the shoulder
and he was shown a lot of love before, during and after the match.

The crowd were singing his name
prior to kick-off, his team-mates appreciated his efforts and encouraged
him, and Allardyce sang his praises in interviews.

According to Gary Lineker on Match of the Day, Carroll was a 'square peg in a square hole' at Liverpool.

West Ham will play to his strengths, showcased in his bullying of Brede Hangeland.

The bigger they are the harder they fall: Carroll hit the deck after colliding with Brede Hangeland

The bigger they are the harder they fall: Carroll hit the deck after colliding with Brede Hangeland

The downside was the injury in the 68th minute, which meant he had to pull out of the England squad.

Allardyce knows how important
Carroll's international career is to him, saying: 'Andy had to accept he
had to move to make sure of first-team football.

It's all right saying he's going to
sit on the bench at Liverpool but he'd lose his England place.' If he is
going to stay in the England frame he will have to play consistently
and score. Should this happen, West Ham will be in a healthy position.

Allardyce acknowledged this, adding:
'If Andy scores between 10 and 15 goals, it is going to give us a great
chance to be out of the relegation zone. If he gets 15-20, we can get
in the top 10.'

To do this, he will need supply.

The likes of Taylor will be
important, therefore, and the midfielder is looking forward to providing
the ammunition for Carroll.

Taylor said: 'He is good on the ball.
When he flicks it on he doesn't do it aimlessly – he tries to pick
people out. He's very good on the floor, strong, quick. Unplayable, the
manager said.'

From unwanted to unplayable in the space of a few days. If Carroll carries on like this, he could prove quite a catch.

No holding back: Carroll and Hangeland come together at Upton Park

No holding back: Carroll and Hangeland come together at Upton Park

Unfortunate: Carroll was due to be subbed just before he picked up his injury

Unfortunate: Carroll was due to be subbed just before he picked up his injury