A painful return for AC

A dislocated finger and defeat by Everton at Goodison Park made for a painful Saturday for the returning Andy Carroll.

The centre forward returned to West Ham United action as a first-half substitute after a three-match suspension, but could not prevent the Hammers from falling to a 1-0 defeat on Merseyside.

To add injury to insult, Carroll suffered a horrific-looking dislocated finger twice during his hour on the pitch.

"It was a tough game," said the No9. "We obviously had a slow start and it was disappointing to concede at the end, but that's how football goes.

"We're obviously disappointed now so it's a little bit upsetting.

"As for my finger. I stubbed it and it just popped out. It's a little bit painful but it'll be all right and it won't slow me down."

Manager Sam Allardyce assessed that West Ham did not use the ball well enough in the final-third - an opinion agreed with by Carroll, who fired two long-range efforts narrowly off-target from the visitors' two best chances.

After a month out of Barclays Premier League action following his red card against Swansea City on 1 February, the 25-year-old admitted to being a bit rusty in front of goal.

Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll has his finger re-set by physio Dominic Rogan

"Of course, yes, we didn't pass it as well as we can or as well as we've showed in the last few games. We just need to go back now and concentrate on the next game.

"I felt all right, but obviously I haven't played for a while so I was a little bit rusty. We're just all disappointed at the minute.

"The two chances both landed good for me to hit, but I just caught them a little bit high. It was disappointing but that's how it is."