Friday 30 Dec
Updated Saturday 31 Dec 10:04
Interviews

Ayew praises 'top striker' Carroll

  • Andre Ayew is enjoying working alongside an in-form Andy Carroll
  • Both forwards scored in the 4-1 Boxing Day win at Swansea City
  • Hammers seeking fourth Premier League win in a row when they visit King Power Stadium

Andre Ayew is looking to build on his partnership with ‘top striker’ Andy Carroll when West Ham United take on Leicester City on New Year’s Eve.

The pair each scored in the Hammers’ 4-1 Boxing Day win at Swansea City – Ayew his first goal for the Club – and look set to work together again as they go for four straight Premier League wins at King Power Stadium.

The duo are making up for lost time after both were ruled out of the early months of the season by injury, but the signs are that Ayew and Carroll could cause top-flight defences plenty of problems in the future.

“To be honest, Andy is a top striker,” Ayew confirmed. “He’s been here at the Club for a while and the guys know how to use him and play with him. For me, it’s new and I’m learning but it’s great because his quality is there and he helps the whole squad. Hopefully he can continue playing the way he is playing and scoring the goals he is scoring.

We are growing as a team and growing in confidence and we can win more games

Andre Ayew

“Our recent wins have brought a lot of confidence. We beat Burnley and Hull in a difficult way, then we beat Swansea by putting the ball on the ground, playing football and scoring four goals. We proved that we can play with different styles and win in different ways.

“We are growing as a team and growing in confidence and we can win more games. Right now the confidence is high and hopefully it will stay high.”

Andre AyewSo, what of Saturday’s game at the Premier League champions, who sit 16th in the table after a challenging defence of their title.

“It’s a very difficult game,” observed Ayew, who could come up against Ghana teammate Daniel Amartey. “Leicester have a very good squad that is doing well in the Champions League and we know what they did last season in the Premier League. They have quality players and kept the majority of their squad, so we just need to go there with a lot of confidence and belief and try to do something up there.

“It’s going to be tough for us, particularly in front of their fans, but we need to dig in to try and get something.”

After facing Leicester and Manchester United at London Stadium on Monday, the No20 will jet out to the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon to represent Ghana. There, Avram Grant’s squad will face Uganda, Mali and Egypt in the group stage. Should the Black Stars go all the way to the final, Ayew will return to east London in early February.

For the West Ham man, leaving for international duty provokes mixed emotions.

“The Africa Cup of Nations is coming and it has been part of my dreams been since I was a kid,” the 27-year-old said. “We have been very close to winning it and hopefully one day we are going to bring this trophy home.

“It would have been good to stay at the Club, but wearing my national colours is something I dreamt of when I was young and I am always proud and I will do everything I can for my nation.

“It’s difficult to leave the Club, too, but we have great players and hopefully West Ham will keep winning games and I’ll come back and keep on working towards finishing as high as we can.”