Andy Carroll was all smiles after making a successful return from injury for West Ham United in Monday's 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Queens Park Rangers.
The England centre forward was back after missing four matches with a hamstring strain suffered on his debut against Fulham on 1 September. After a month of hard work and rehabilitation, Carroll was clearly eager to do well at Loftus Road.
The 23-year-old was at his physically-imposing best during a late cameo, coming close to beating home goalkeeper Julio Cesar with two rasping efforts and just missing out on finishing crosses from Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan.
Speaking exclusively to West Ham TV, Carroll paid tribute to the club's medical staff and his new team-mates for making his return as speedy and painless as possible. Now, the No8 is targeting a start and a win in Saturday's big tea-time clash with Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground.
WATCH ANDY CARROLL'S WEST HAM TV INTERVIEW HERE!
After making such an impact on your debut, you must have been itching to return to action?
AC - "Yes, since the Fulham game I have been dying to get back. I've been working hard in the gym and the staff here have helped me to get back fit and obviously coming on at QPR and helping the lads to get the win was great. It was hard. I was devastated when I got injured but I've worked hard and I've been the gym every day. I've only been out on the training pitch a handful of times since so it was great to be out there at Loftus Road playing football again."
Is it a testament to your fitness that you have returned a lot quicker than was originally forecast?
AC - "All the medical staff here are great and they have worked well with us. I've been over the moon with what I've been doing and obviously that has made for a speedy recovery. I had only trained a handful of times so it was touch-and-go but all the staff have been great with me. I felt fine and obviously they wouldn't have risked me if I had any problems. The medical side have been great. As soon as I stopped feeling the hamstring a week or two ago I wanted to get back on the pitch but they wouldn't let me because they told me it wasn't right. I've had to keep working on it and I've got it right and got 20 minutes on Monday night. I'm absolutely fine."
Monday's game was an interesting one to make your return in as it certainly wasn't for the faint-hearted, was it?
AC - "No, there were a few tackles going in and it was a good game to watch. I was glad I got on and it was great for the lads that we got the three points."
You spoke about the importance of Big Sam and Kevin Nolan being here in helping you to decide to move to West Ham United. Has their presence made it easier to get over the disappointment of being injured on your debut and to settle in generally?
AC - "It's been great. All the lads are spot-on and there is always banter flying around and they are a great group of lads. Everyone is in it for each other and you can see they are behind each other in games. It's the same on the training ground. It's just great so I'm enjoying it."
Are you looking forward to playing alongside Matt Jarvis on a regular basis, considering his crossing ability?
AC - "That is what Matt is about. He loves putting balls in the box and that is what I really thrive on, crosses coming in and getting my head on the end of them. As you saw when I got on at QPR, he put four or five balls in straight away. I didn't get on the end of them but he is putting them in every time."
You have played for Newcastle United and Liverpool, but how do you assess the quality in the current Hammers squad?
AC - "Yes, I think it is great. All the lads get on well and you can see the quality in training. We showed that quality at QPR on Monday in what was a tough game at a tough place to go. It was great to get the win and the three points."
We move on to Arsenal on Saturday, but presumably we don't have to fear anyone with the way we have been performing in the Barclays Premier League so far?
AC - "No, we've obviously been playing really well and we proved that on Monday. We had quite a few chances but we didn't put them all away. We've been playing well and I think all the lads are looking forward to Arsenal on Saturday."
How are you settling in down in London?
AC - "It's completely different. It's a huge city! I'm really enjoying it. It's completely different but I like it."