Collison: Carroll can spark Hammers
Published 13/01/2014 | 12:17
Andy Carroll can lift West Ham out of Barclays Premier League relegation danger, according to Jack Collison.
England striker Carroll made his long-awaited return from foot trouble as West Ham claimed a 2-0 league victory at Cardiff City on Saturday.
Carroll came off the bench to tee up Mark Noble for the second and decisive goal, easing pressure on manager Sam Allardyce and lifting West Ham out of the relegation zone.
West Ham host Carroll's former club Newcastle United in league action at Upton Park on Saturday, with Collision backing the 25-year-old to build on his immediate impact.
"The big man has been working so hard to get fit, so it's great for him to be back out on the pitch and well done to him," Collison told West Ham's official website.
"Now he can build on what he did at Cardiff.
"There were a couple of dodgy touches from him, but it was a fantastic ball for the last goal and we'll all happy to get him back."
Carlton Cole, whose future remains uncertain with a short-term contract nearing its end, opened the scoring in the victory at Cardiff, with the Hammers grinding home despite a red card for defender James Tomkins.
Now Collison expects the duo to bolster West Ham's attacking threats as they seek to move away from the Premier League drop zone.
"Carlton Cole did really well for us again on Saturday, he got another goal and that's four for us now," Collison said.
"It's great to have him in good form as well.
"It was a tough second half for us because they had a lot of the ball, especially when James Tomkins got sent off, so it was great to look over at the sidelines and see Andy Carroll coming on."
Cup thrashings at Nottingham Forest and Manchester City saw West Ham leak 11 goals in four days, before Saturday's trip to Cardiff.
Collison hailed Allardyce for staying cool, especially in the wake of that 6-0 humbling at the Etihad Stadium in the Capital One Cup.
"The manager spoke a lot in the last week about showing character and working hard for each other," said Collison.
"I think that showed in what the lads did at Cardiff, there were lots of blocks, Adrian was fantastic for us again and it was a massive three points, which came at the right time.
"The manager was fantastic all week: he hasn't been too down in the dumps.
"Obviously we were all disappointed about Forest and Man City, but he's been there and done it all before, and he really picked us up before Cardiff.
"That rubbed off on the boys and we went and performed on Saturday to get the three points."