Big Sam beaming at fine few days

Sam Allardyce could hardly contain his joy as West Ham United rounded off a week to remember with a superb 3-0 against Fulham at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

New signing Andy Carroll made his debut for the home side and had a hand in two of the goals as Kevin Nolan, Winston Reid and Matt Taylor did the damage with a goal each. The win caps off a fine seven days for the Hammers, who clinched the signings of Carroll and Yossi Benayoun on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win against Crewe Alexandra in the Capital One third round on Tuesday.

"It is a tremendous start to the game for us of course and the overall performance that continued from there was very much pleasing to us all," Allardyce said.

"None more so than the squad of players we have got and the staff and the owners who have worked so tirelessly, particularly in terms of the signings we have got.

"I think what is important is the delight of everybody when Andy walked through the door.

"He is a quality centre-forward and he is our number one. We can hopefully play to his strengths and he can hopefully help us do what we want to do and that is be winning as many football matches as we can. Hopefully we can provide him with the service to score lots and lots of goals."

Carroll's impressive performance is likely to grab all of the headlines but he was ably assisted by those around him. His strong header set up Ricardo Vaz Te to tee up Nolan to open the scoring with just 53 seconds on the clock and the strike was a tantalising taster of what was to come.

"Andy's arrival brought excitement to Kevin Nolan's performance because Kevin can feed off Andy instinctively very, very well.

"Kevin could have probably had a hat-trick because if he knows the ball is going to Andy he knows he can go beyond and get into areas where Andy can find him.

"The quality of his finish was very important and from there on in it was just a case of us playing better than Fulham."

Soon after  Nolan's opener, another Carroll knockdown found Mohamed Diame, but his cleanly-struck volley was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal. The onslaught continued and Vaz Te and Nolan both went close before the inevitable second arrived when Reid nodded in Taylor's corner.

The claret and blue assault continued and it was three before half-time when Taylor smashed in from the edge of the area after Brede Hangeland - under pressure from Carroll - had headed back James Collins' free-kick into his path.

The manner of the performance was also pleasing for the 33,458 packed into the Boleyn Ground, with Kids for a Quid offer seemingly proving popular with the Hammers' faithful. What made it all the sweeter was that it arrived on the back of a 3-0 defeat in West Ham's last Barclays Premier League outing at Swansea City.

"Bouncebackability! I remember that was a good one from Iain Dowie and it was that we needed," Allardyce added with a smile. "We did it with great effect and style and thrust and skill. I think that for a team that is newly promoted to have a game like that, it is never over until it's over, but against Fulham we were 3-0 up at half-time and deservedly so

"For everybody concerned it is a great bounce-back from last weekend and six points out of three games at the start of the season means we can move on and try and get more points and move the pressure away that can easily come on you when you slip towards the bottom of this league.

"We all know that after ten games if you have not quite done what you planned, you are under pressure. We, at the moment, are relieving that pressure to try and bring more out of the players."

The only downside was that Carroll was forced from the field with a hamstring injury midway through the second half. Although the injury will keep him out of England's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this week, Big Sam will wait for a full report on Monday before judging how long he could be out for.

"Andy's injury looks like a hamstring which is obviously the most disappointing thing from today.

"We had Carlton Cole to come on anyway - another two minutes or so and Andy would have been off. He would have been fatigued because he hasn't played as many games as he wanted after he came back from holiday and the European Championships.

"We were ready to bring him off and unfortunately on that last jump he got hit by Hangeland and that twisted his body and pulled his hamstring by the looks of it.

"I think almost definitely that he is out of the England squad but we will just have to pray that it is not too severe."

Allardyce and his medical staff are now likely to make full use of the two-week international break to ensure Carroll is fighting fit in time for the away game with Norwich City on 15 September.