Andy Carroll knows he faces a battle to win his starting place back following West Ham United's outstanding recent run.

The Hammers have won four straight Barclays Premier League matches, scoring nine goals and conceding just one - despite having Carroll available for just 70 minutes of that run due to the striker's sending-off against Swansea City on 1 February.

The England international's replacement, Carlton Cole, has led the line well, netting the go-ahead goal in Saturday's 3-1 home win over Southampton, while Kevin Nolan has scored five goals in his last four appearances.

Carroll returns from suspension for Saturday's trip to Everton, but the No9 knows he will not automatically return to Sam Allardyce's starting XI at Goodison Park.

"Coley is on fire and has scored six goals, while Kev has got seven, so I've just got to work hard and hope the Gaffer sees fit to pick me," said Carroll, who was at the Boleyn Ground to cheer on his team-mates to victory over Southampton on Saturday.

"It's unbelievable, where we have come from to where we are now. All the lads are buzzing in the dressing room and when I went in there after the game they were all laughing and messing about. It's great and I'm over the moon with how things are going."

Having only returned from a long-term foot injury in January, Carroll has kept himself fit during his enforced absence, most notably during an extended warm-weather training visit to Dubai.

The forward spent four days with his team-mates before remaining at the Dubai Sports City for a further four days to work one-on-one with the Club's rehabilitation coach Eduardo Parra Garcia.

"It was a lot of hard work at the beginning of the week, then the rest of the lads left and it was one-on-one training with Eduardo, which was really good. Having the sun on my back was even better. It's been hard for me all season. I hadn't really done much training, so wherever I can train is great, but it was even better to do it in the sun.

"It's obviously great to get away from the training ground when we get the chance. We're out of the FA Cup and the lads were able to do the same training we do here, but in Dubai. It gives everyone a change of scenery.

"The lads came back and won again against Southampton, which was great."

Andy Carroll

Carroll spent 18 months on Merseyside with Liverpool prior to joining West Ham on loan in August 2013. During his time with the Reds, he scored a late winner in their FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton at Wembley in April 2012.

Having tasted one memorable win over the Toffees, Carroll is now hoping to do again this weekend. First, he knows he has to force his way back into Big Sam's starting XI.

"We are playing well and are scoring goals now, so I don't see why we can't go up there and get three points. I've just got to work hard in training, because that's all I can do. At the end of the day, the manager picks the team.

"The sending-off has happened and I was annoyed at the time with missing games, which was not what I wanted after the season that I've had, but I'm over it now. I just need to focus on playing the games now and getting back in the team and playing games."

While Carroll is eager to get his West Ham place back first and foremost, he is also desperate to regain his spot in Roy Hodgson's England squad.

The striker has not played for his country since October 2012, but the 25-year-old is being widely tipped to make a return to Hodgson's selection for the friendly international with Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday 5 March. It is an opportunity he would relish.

"I've definitely not given up on the England squad and I never will do."