Sam Allardyce has warned Roy Hodgson to treat Andy Carroll with caution as he reluctantly awaits an England call-up for his fit-again striker.
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Carroll, 23, made his return from a hamstring injury - picked up on his West Ham debut - as a substitute in the Hammers' 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Monday, in front of a watching Hodgson.
With England's striking options thin on the ground, Allardyce accepts the former Newcastle player is likely to get the nod on Thursday, when the Three Lions boss names his squad for the World Cup qualifying double header with San Marino and Poland next week.
However, the West Ham manager is determined to speak to Hodgson to give him the lowdown on Carroll's lack of match fitness, in the hope that he will not be risked with a starting berth.
"I'd speak to Roy and just give him the run-down on Andy's lack of match fitness," Allardyce said in the Daily Mirror. "He's woefully, woefully short of match practice - which we all know is a delicate thing for a manager to deal with - and I'm sure Roy will deal with that in the right way. It depends what Roy thinks and what selection he's got.
"I don't want to tell Roy how to do his job but we've now spent a huge amount of time getting Andy here [on a season's loan from Liverpool] and, because of fatigue and lack of match practice, he pulled his hamstring in the first game. Because of that, England will be sensible. Given the service that he needs - and I think we've got the players - he'll get stronger and stronger."
West Ham are confident that Hodgson will act sensibly with their player, expecting Carroll to only be involved from the bench.
"No matter how much we don't want Andy to go, he'll have to go, but Roy is a sensible guy, and he'll probably only use him as a sub," a West Ham source told ESPN.