Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew admits they're a better team for selling Andy Carroll to Liverpool.

Carroll and Kevin Nolan return to Newcastle with West Ham United today.

Pardew said: "Kevin and Andy were two big characters who went out of the door. Luckily others emerged, or we would have been in ­trouble. We haven't really missed Andy. I'm happy with the strikers I have - Shola Ameobi, for instance, was magnificent the other night in Bruges.

"We missed Andy a bit after he left in the January, but after that summer we were as good without him as we were with him. However, I would never dismiss bringing him back here."