West Ham boss hails ‘unique’ Andy Carroll and believes safety is assured

22:21 31 March 2014

West Ham United

West Ham United's Andy Carroll celebrates his goal. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Sam Allardyce has continued his call for Andy Carroll to be named in the England squad after his opener against Sunderland.

The striker rose highest to head home Mark Noble’s corner to give the Hammers a 1-0 lead at the Stadium of Light after just nine minutes.

Mo Diame made it 2-0 five minutes after half-time and, although Adam Johnson pulled a goal back soon after, the east Londoners held on to claim the victory.

“He’s unique in many ways in the Premier League,” Allardyce told Sky Sports. “There aren’t many who can head a ball like he does.

“You saw the headed goal from that corner. A clean header into the back of the net has set us off. He can move the ball.

“He’s quicker than he looks. If he continues to play, score the goals. Last year he scored eight in the last 12. Roy picked him to go to Brazil last year and hopefully he will this year.” The result lifts West Ham to 37 points - 11 clear of the relegation zone and also have a vastly superior goal difference to the bottom three.

And Allardyce is confident that they now have enough points to survive with games running out fast.

“We aren’t mathematically safe,” he added. “It’s going to be very difficult for the bottom three teams to catch us.

“We’ve taken three points off [one of] them. That’s how crucial it was for us and how disappointing it must have been for Gus and his side.”

Can you name these 10 West Ham players from past and present? Click here to take our quiz.

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