Agony for AC

Andy Carroll should have been able to celebrate his first West Ham United goal since May 2013, but a second half comeback from Stoke City meant the striker could not enjoy his big moment.

The striker nodded the Hammers in front on five minutes, only for a Peter Odemwingie double and Marko Arnautovic strike to ruin Carroll's day as the Potters ran out 3-1 victors at the Britannia Stadium.

Carroll admitted West Ham had not done enough at Stoke but retain the belief they can do better when Manchester United visit the Boleyn Ground next weekend.

"We didn't concentrate on their first goal," the No9 admitted. "We could have probably cleared that, then their second goal was a good counter-attack from them and it was disappointing that we didn't hold the lead from early on.

"We were obviously disappointed with the result at the end. We know we need points because we're not safe so we need to keep working hard and focus on the next game. I don't think anyone is not confident about staying up and getting the points we need.

"We've been talking about it in the dressing room after the game. We know it's a tough game against Manchester United but I don't see why we can't get three points against them with the form we've been in.

"I don't see why we can't get the three points. We were disappointed at Stoke, but come Monday morning everyone will come into training raring to go to get three points against Man U."

It had all started so brightly for West Ham when Carroll rose to bury Mark Noble's free-kick, ending a frustrating ten-month period that saw the forward sidelined for an extended period with a serious foot injury.

"It was a great set piece from Mark Noble. He put it in exactly the same place as we have been practising in training and I got ahead of everyone and put it in."

Having fallen 2-1 down to Arnautovic's goal midway through the second half, Carroll felt the Hammers should have been awarded a penalty when Marc Muniesa handled moments later.

"I feel like one of the balls was coming into my chest and I would have brought it down and been in the box but I thought it clearly hit his arm, but clearly the ref didn't."

Carroll made his first start since his sending-off against Swansea City on 1 February and he is now aiming to finish the seasong strongly. If he does, the England international is hoping to force his way into Roy Hodgson's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.

"I feel good. I've been working hard in training through my suspension and I'm feeling good and feeling fit.

"We've been doing well when I haven't been playing, keeping clean sheets and getting the points on the board to get us out of the relegation zone and up into tenth. It's been all positive."

"The World Cup is on my mind, of course it is, but I've got to start scoring goals here and start winning games before that comes."