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The Hammers boss has defended the Liverpool loanee's overall contribution to the team and believes that the striker deserves more sympathy from referees during games

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has backed striker Andy Carroll to come good, despite failing to score for the Hammers so far.

Allardyce insists he is delighted with the Liverpool loanee's overall contribution to the Hammers' attack after two fouls on the striker led to a free-kick and penalty that resulted in goals in West Ham's win over Southampton on Saturday.

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“Andy will score sooner or later. But it is not about him scoring, it is about us winning,” Allardyce told reporters.

“He is still a young man and he has a lot of improving to do. But he is such an important player for us already. As the old saying goes, if the front man plays well, the team plays well.”

Allardyce also expressed his belief that referees should be more sympathetic towards Carroll, but praised the officiating in the weekend's game at Upton Park.

He added: “I think it is unfair that referees sometimes don’t take his side in sympathy terms because he is such a big lad.

“But at least the referee actually gave the free kicks the right way when he was getting fouled continually.”