Carroll relishing the prospect of a Newcastle reunion, says West Ham assistant McDonald

The Hammers' coach says the England international has been licking his lips all week at the thought of going up against a fragile Magpies defence at Upton Park this weekend
West Ham striker Andy Carroll is eagerly awaiting the visit of his old club Newcastle United.

The 24-year-old left St James' Park for a British record fee of £35 million in 2011 to join Liverpool but since then has been loaned out to the Hammers.

West Ham's assistant coach, Neil McDonald, revealed how the in-form England international has been chomping at the bit to lock horns against his former team-mates.

"He is a forward and wants to score goals so I imagine he will be licking his lips after their performance against Liverpool last week," McDonald told the Evening Standard.

"He is bound to find it strange because this is the club where he grew up and came through the ranks. That won't stop him trying to do his best for the team and he is fully committed to West Ham.

"He will be desperate to score and keep up his fine run of form."

McDonald also believes Carroll's recent upturn in form should see him reintroduced into Roy Hodgson's international setup.

"When you're in form, you should be considered for England," he said. "I think the perception with his size is that he is just a big target man, but he is much more than that. He has excellent control, inter-link play and is of course fantastic in the air.

"He's not just a flick-it-up-and-hoof-it man - he would give England much more options than just a big ball up top. (Emile) Heskey did that sort of role for Michael Owen.

"People have that perception - he's more than a big lump and he does work at his game and is still a young man. He has gone to the top very quickly, but he is young and still learning."