West Ham captain Kevin Nolan says the club are already feeling the full effect of Andy Carroll’s injury after failing to score for a third consecutive Premier League game at the weekend.
Thorne: Petric looks to fill the gap
Carroll, 24, was ruled out for an unconfirmed length of time last week, with the Hammers confirming that he had sustained a foot injury upon his return to training.
Free agent and former Fulham striker Mladen Petric was brought in on a short-term basis in order to try and fill the gap left by the England international but Nolan believes it is not that easy.
"There’s not many people like Andy Carroll, no-one’s like Andy Carroll, maybe Rickie Lambert, maybe, but I think they’re a bit different here and there," he told the Mirror.
"I have played with Andy Carroll for a year and a half and we get goals. It is a well-known fact in the Premier League - you only have to look at our stats together -- that’s because we are a force together and no-one can stop us.
"In my eyes, when we go on the field, I always feel either one of us is going to get a goal. It’s something that I have got to learn to do with others and I have before."
Nolan said that Carroll is working hard to return to action as quickly as possible.
With the striker also holding international ambitions, Nolan believes he can still work his way into England manager Roy Hodgson’s plans for next summer.
"He’s okay," Nolan said. "He’s disappointed with the news and everything. We don’t know quite how long he is going to be out for -- we’re hoping it is sooner rather than later but one thing I would say is that he is working his socks off in the gym because he wants to be back quicker.
"He is missing playing because that’s what he loves and what he lives for. Hopefully now he will just get his head down. We are all there to put our arms around him if he needs it but he is a big lad with big shoulders and hopefully we will see a lot more of him on the pitch in the coming months.
"I’ve not really spoken to him about England. I think it is just all about them getting fit, getting ready and getting back for West Ham because he I know if we get him fit, he’ll score us goals. If he goes on a run like he did last year, he’ll be in that squad."