Carroll should go to World Cup insists Allardyce
Sunderland 1 West Ham 2
Geordie Andy Carroll helped to nudge Sunderland closer to the relegation trapdoor as West Ham all but secured their own Premier League status.
The England striker powered the visitors into an early lead and midfielder Mohamed Diame extended the advantage five minutes into the second half on a night when there were no boos for Hammers boss Sam Allardyce.
Substitute Adam Johnson gave Sunderland, who had earlier seen strong penalty appeals go unanswered, hope when he pulled one back with 25 minutes remaining, and visiting 'keeper Adrian had to pull off a double save to deny Ki Sung-yueng and Connor Wickham.
But ultimately, the Black Cats' depressing home run was extended to just one win in nine league games to leave the bulk of a crowd of 37,396 fearing the worst.
Former Newcastle frontman Carroll needed just nine minutes to plummet even further in the estimation of the home fans when he headed the visitors into the lead in trademark style. Mark Noble's corner was tailor-made for him to climb high above John O'Shea and Wes Brown to score just his second goal of the season despite 'keeper Vito Mannone's best efforts on the line.
It was enough for Carroll's manager to suggest that the striker should be part of England's World Cup squad for Brazil this summer.
"If you want alternatives, Andy gives you one," he said.
"He's unique in many ways. Not many can receive the ball and head a ball as good as he does, especially with quality balls in the box.
"Nobody was going to stop him for that goal. He has a lot more on the deck than people give him credit for. If he plays every week, scores goals, hopefully he'll go to Brazil."
Allardyce has survived some tough moments this season and he feels his club are feeling the benefit of sticking with him and not changing managers like so many of their rivals.
"I think so," he said when asked if stability had helped.
"From our point of view, the chairmen have always been solid and never made me feel under any pressure. We've had an eight-game run and got 15 points, which is fantastic at this stage of the season. It's got us out of trouble and we will now strive to see how many more points we can pick up."
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