Andy Carroll is confident his partnership with Enner Valencia will continue to improve after the two linked up to great effect in their thrilling FA Cup victory over Everton.
The two front men have struggled to adapt to each other’s styles so far this season, but they were beginning to show the makings of an effective duo in midweek.
Carroll and Valencia haven’t started a great deal of games together because of the form of Diafra Sakho – who is currently out injured – although after running Everton’s defence ragged Carroll thinks they will become even more dangerous with the more games they play.
“There's been a few changes in the way the system has been working and I feel we can only get stronger the more me and Enner play up top,” Carroll told the official club site.
Valencia has looked out of sorts prior to the Everton match and hadn’t scored since way back in November. Furthermore, he had seemed less effective when Carroll was on the pitch.
However after seeing the pair link up to great effect – Carroll played a neat through ball for Valencia to run on to and finish past Toffees ‘keeper Joel Robles – they have proved they can link-up and cause problems as a duo.
The Ecuador international was in dire need of a goal and his first at the Boleyn Ground will have done his confidence a world of good.
"It's good for Enner's confidence to score," Carroll stated. "He hadn't scored for a while so it's nice to get him on the scoresheet again.
"I thought he played absolutely brilliantly on Tuesday, as did all of the lads.”
Carroll has also returned to form of late after scoring a spectacular goal against Swansea last week and turning provider against Everton. With them both firing the Hammers shouldn’t overly miss the absent Sakho, who is their top scorer with eight goals.
CHANCE TO THRIVE
With Hull City visiting east London on Sunday the striker’s will be looking to continue developing their understanding with one another and hopefully fire the Hammers to victory.
Valencia will have fond memories of Hull having enjoyed his best moment in a West Ham shirt against them – when he scored a stunning long-range effort in a 2-2 draw earlier in the season.
However with only four goals in all competitions so far, the £12million man will need to start finding the net more consistently, particularly if he is to keep Sakho out of the side when he returns from injury.