West Ham can score, says Nolan

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West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan insists that goals will not be a problem despite the long term injury to record signing Andy Carroll.

The Hammers have only scored in one of their four Premier League games to date, and that was the first game of the season against Cardiff City.

Deals for strikers in the transfer window broke down and the release of Carlton Cole, who the club are now attempting to re-sign, means that Modibo Maiga has been forced to lead the line despite being frozen out last season and the 24-year-old hasn't recorded a goal this season yet.

On the back of another blank against Southampton, Nolan remains unconcerned about Maiga's lack of goals and thinks the introduction of free-agent signing Mladen Petric will help matters.

He told SkySports: "None of us have criticised Maiga, that's the main thing," 

"I don't think anyone has really criticised him, I think it's just the fact when you miss someone like Andy, you're going to talk about Andy, instead of the centre-forward who's actually playing.

"If he doesn't come in and score goals then it's all 'he's no Andy Carroll'. There's not many people like Andy Carroll, maybe Rickie Lambert, but I think they're a bit different here and there.

"Modibo Maiga's got other strengths, he's very good in the air for such a short lad. He's good on the floor. Very technically gifted, when he's in front of goal he's very calm.

"We've just got to start getting him those opportunities, he's been working so hard I'm delighted with him. I think he's been fantastic for us. He's been thrown in at the deep end.

"This boy has come over from Sochaux, he was upset that he wasn't playing a lot, he's knuckled down over the summer and he's getting his chance. Now it's up to him to start putting him in the back of the net.

"Petric has been training with us but obviously he is a bit behind because he hasn't had a full pre-season.

"He's in great shape coming back, don't get me wrong, but it's just football fitness. He has got to get used to that and hopefully we will have him there or thereabouts for Everton, maybe to come off the bench.

"It is a great acquisition for us - we are very pleased we have got him. He brings a lot of quality and something different. He is another one that we have got to get used to."

Despite the goal-shyness this season, Sam Allardyce's men have been solid in defence and that has led to them losing just once.

They sit 10th after four games with five points and they welcome an unbeaten Everton to Upton Park on Saturday.

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Kevin Nolan
West Ham United

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