Hammers striker Andy Carroll is itching to make up for lost time after stepping up his comeback from a knee injury with a 14-minute substitute appearance in Wednesday's 3-1 defeat at Fulham.

The big Geordie has been out since late November but returned to the Barclays Premier League fray at Craven Cottage with Sam Allardyce's men looking to close a deficit caused by goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega.

West Ham couldn't rescue a point on this occasion, but Carroll was happy to be back and he is looking forward to helping the team as they move on to Saturday's visit of Swansea City.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham TV, Carroll said: "Obviously we were disappointed with the result but to be back on the pitch was great for me because I've been out injured for a while now.

"I've been wanting to get out there since I've been injured - I've been in the gym and treatment room working hard to get fit. It's taken a while but I'm back and it was a great feeling to get those few minutes under my belt."

The England international forced a save from Cottagers keeper Mark Schwarzer with his very first touch after replacing Joe Cole on Wednesday, and the former Newcastle man felt his side were a little unfortunate not to take something from the contest after a strong start to the second period which saw them briefly level through Kevin Nolan.

He continued: "I had a little chance as soon as I came on with my first touch, I caught it quite well but the keeper was there in the right place, right time. I think overall we were unlucky not to get a result.

"The gaffer had a word with us at half-time to tell the lads what he expected, and we went out there and showed in the way we started what we're about. We put the ball in the box, got a few chances and Kev put his away for a good goal. The disappointing thing was that they got straight back in the lead, because we were on top of them at that stage and we could have pushed on to get the win.

"They put the first chance they created after our goal away and it's disappointing for the lads, but we've got to keep at it and think about the next game now.

"Straight away our focus goes on to Swansea at the weekend. We've had a tough run lately, we need to put points on the board, the lads know that, and I'm sure once we get that result, the others will follow."

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