West Ham joint-chairman David Gold has confessed to the Daily Star that: "putting all our eggs into one basket was a mistake," after the Hammers purchased Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing but not a backup centre forward this summer.

Carroll, the former Newcastle United and Liverpool striker, has been injured all season and not appeared for the Hammers since his club record £15m move was completed in June.

Gold said: "We should have bought a centre forward. That's my opinion. I'm not overly sure that not bringing in a centre forward as cover for Andy was the best idea.

"It does mean we put all our eggs in one basket. It is a dangerous thing, not just in football but in life."

Gold revealed that West Ham spent their summer transfer budget on Carroll and Downing, who cost an initial £6m from Liverpool.

He explained: "The opportunity to buy Downing at that price was great value for money. It cut deeply into our budget.

Nobody thought Andy would be injured and it won't be until the next year before we see him.

"I'm hugely disappointed with the position we are in. I thought we had spent our money wisely."

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was relying on goals from the Carroll to build a top-half chase this season, but without the 24-year-old they have only netted 13 times in 15 Premier League matches.

This has left Allardyce's side one place above the relegation zone, ahead of London rivals Fulham only on goal difference.

The London club have re-signed Carlton Cole as a free agent after releasing the striker last summer, with the forward providing badly-needed cover in the last month.

Allardyce has confirmed his team are on the hunt to bring in a striker next month, with the Hammers linked with a whole host of attacking additions including Obafemi Martins and Diego Milito in recent weeks.

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