Under-pressure West Ham boss Allardyce could risk Carroll against Cardiff

The former Liverpool striker has not represented the Hammers since completing a permanent switch in the summer, but the manager says he is progressing well in training
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce could take a "calculated risk" and name Andy Carroll on the bench for Saturday's clash with Cardiff City.

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A foot injury has prevented the England international from playing for the club since completing a permanent move from Liverpool in the summer following his loan spell at Upton Park last season.

The Hammers have struggled for goals in his absence and have slipped into the Premier League relegation zone following a seven-match winless run, and Allardyce may throw caution to the wind for the trip to Wales.

"We'll see how training goes and make the call from there," he told reporters. "Andy is training okay and we have to talk to the lads who are looking after him on whether he's ready or not.

"Ideally, we'd like to progress it a little slower but based on the circumstances we find ourselves in it might be a calculated risk that I am prepared to take.

"It will only be in the squad but not in the team."

Allardyce has come under increasing pressure in the last week, which has include a 5-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round and the 6-0 thrashing to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.