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The West Ham vice-captain has refuted Saints' claims that the on-loan Liverpool striker goes to ground too easily after fouls on him led to two Hammers' goals in their 4-1 victory

Mark Noble has leapt to the defence of team-mate Andy Carroll after the West Ham striker was accused of going to ground a little too easily during the Hammers' 4-1 win over Southampton on Saturday.

Saints' midfielder Adam Lallana accused the on-loan Liverpool man of being "clever" in the way he would draw "soft fouls" during the newly promoted side’s heavy defeat at Upton Park.

However, Noble argues that were Carroll, who drew a league high of five fouls during the game, to stay on his feet then referees would be unwilling to give the striker a decision.

"Andy's a big man and if he doesn't go down he won't win any free-kicks because the refs think that he's too big to get a free kick," Noble told reports.

"When you've got somebody as big as Andy in the box he's going to cause havoc. Centre-halves will be so desperate to win the ball that they'll do anything."

"He got an elbow in the first half which went unpunished," continued Noble. "But he can put up with it."

Noble was one of the main beneficiaries of Carroll's success at winning free kicks; first scoring from a set-piece effort before making the points safe by tucking home a penalty after the striker was hauled down by Jose Fonte.

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