Premier League: West Ham's Jack Collison hails Andy Carroll's return from injury
West Ham defender Jack Collison believes the return of Andy Carroll can lift them clear of the relegation zone.
Last Updated: 13/01/14 2:04pm
Carroll made his long-awaited comeback from a foot injury at the weekend and set up West Ham's second goal in their vital 2-0 win at Cardiff City.
The win eased the pressure on beleaguered manager Sam Allardyce and saw West Ham scramble out of the bottom three, something Collison sees as significant pointer for the rest of the season.
"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 is still unclear with a short-term contract having now expired, opened the scoring in the victory at Cardiff and Collison is hopeful he and Carroll could form a useful strike partnership.
"Carlton Cole did really well for us again on Saturday, he got another goal and that's four for us now," Collison added.
"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."
Heavy defeats at Nottingham Forest and Manchester City - in the Capital One and FA Cups - saw West Ham concede 11 goals in four days but Collison has backed Allardyce to take the club forward.
"The manager spoke a lot in the last week about showing character and working hard for each other," he said.
"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."