Andy Carroll reckons hard graft and a clean bill of health have paved the way for his purple patch, after collecting the SBOBET Player of the Month award for March.

West Ham United's No8 was presented with his accolade by SBOBET's finance director Raye Wong, prior to Saturday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Wigan Athletic.

While Carroll was rightly thrilled to earn recognition for several fine displays of late, he was similarly quick to point to an outstanding collective effort that has seen the Hammers climb back into the top half.

He told West Ham TV: "It's obviously great, I've been working hard this month and I've got the award to show for it. All the lads have worked hard, got the results and we're on a good run at the minute.

"I just needed to keep myself fit and performances would start coming, as they have been. I've been scoring goals and creating goals and it has been a great month."

The Liverpool loanee played another vital hand in the weekend win over Wigan, not least by setting up his colleague and friend Kevin Nolan to settle the contest with a crucial second goal. It was an exquisite finish from the Hammers skipper, but nothing more than Carroll expects from his former Newcastle United teammate.

He added: "It was a great ball straight up from James Collins, I just knocked it on for Kevin and it was a great finish from him to get his 100th goal. That's what he thrives on, balls in the box like that. Anything around the box or the goalkeeper, he's going to put the ball in the back of the net for you, as he did on Saturday.

"Our finishing has been on form at the minute and we knew as soon as we got a chance we'd put it away."

While Carroll and co are certainly producing the goods in front of goal, Saturday's success owed just as much, if not more, to another immaculate rear-guard action.

"We knew they were going to pass it around and we just had to sit back and obviously defend as we did and we did it really well.

The defence has been great. Jussi [Jaaskelainen] has kept us in a lot of games in the last couple of months. He has made some tremendous saves and there were another couple on Saturday that kept them from scoring. So the defence worked really well and it showed with the clean sheet."

As for the season's final four games, Carroll is pinning his hopes on scoring the goals to fire the Hammers to a top-ten Barclays Premier League finish.

"Confidence is sky high at the minute and it showed again against Wigan. We're more or less safe and we just want to get into the top half. We're pushing on really strong to get that position.

"Obviously I want more goals but top goalscorer is not really an issue for me and I don't think it is for Kevin either, just a couple more goals will be good."

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