The Big Interview - Andy Carroll

West Ham United's No9 on scoring hat-tricks and looking to secure a regular place in Slaven Bilic's starting XI
Andy Carroll sat down with West Ham TV to talk hat-tricks, starting places, the FA Cup and more ahead of Wednesday’s last-ever FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground.

The No9 bagged his first treble in six years against Arsenal on Saturday to make an emphatic return to Slaven Bilic’s team, and now he is targeting more goals and glory against Manchester United.

With a place at Wembley Stadium in a semi-final with Everton at stake, Carroll is looking to build on his outstanding performance on what promises to be a historic evening in east London…

A few days on, how do you reflect on your hat-trick and the positive response from fans and the media alike?

“It was good getting another hat-trick as it’s been a while! It was a good game and a tough game, but I’m looking forward to the game on Wednesday now. If the ball comes in the box then I think I’m favourite. I am happy to challenge for it and if the timing is right, I think I’m going to get there.”

Slaven Bilic has spoken of the superb impact you have made off the substitutes’ bench, but you started on Saturday and presumably you want to keep your place in the team?

“It’s been tough not starting but it’s worked well and I’ve done the right thing in training to keep myself fit and getting on for the last 30 minutes, but it’s not the place I want to be. I want to be the main man in the middle.

“I’ve said this before that he is a great manager and a great man. That’s something I’ve got to appreciate and respect and I do. It’s his decision to make the team and I’ve just got to fight for it in training and that’s what I’ve been doing.

“It’s something I’ve got to work for and when I get a start like I did at the weekend, I’ve got to show him what I’m all about.”
Slaven has made quite an impact since he arrived last summer. What have you made of his approach to managing West Ham United?

“He’s a great manager and a great bloke, to be honest. You can talk to him about football or not about football, and when it comes to games his tactics are spot-on. Every game, he takes each game as it comes and it’s different tactics, different set-ups and different formations.

“He has changed a lot and brought all the lads together and with all the staff he’s brought in, it’s been very good. With the way we’ve played this season, it’s shown he has brought in the way he wants us to play and the lads are enjoying it.

“Going down 2-0 at Arsenal, in the past you’d think it was over but we showed we could fight to get back in the game and we went ahead. We were unlucky not to win the game and that’s what has changed.”

The team spirit is fantastic, isn’t it?

“When the lads come into training, wherever we’re from we’re all sat on different tables and there are no separate groups. At the training ground, we’re all mates and all go on the pitch together as a team and work together.”

And so to Wednesday and it’s Manchester United in the last-ever FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground?

“It’s going to be great. We’re all looking forward to it and the fans are, so it’ll be a great night and hopefully we’ll get a result.

“Maybe I can get another hat-trick, why not! It’ll be nice to get a few more goals. It doesn’t really matter about a hat-trick, but it would be nice to be the last one to get a hat-trick at the Boleyn Ground.

“It would be nice to get my hands on the FA Cup trophy. We’ll just have to see what comes and not look too far in the future, but just at this game against Man U.”

It’s four years here now – you’re part of the furniture!

“I’m loving it here and loving it at home. Everything is spot-on and I’m really happy and enjoying it. Give it a few more years and I’ll get a Testimonial!”