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West Ham boss Allardyce won't rush back Carroll

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce says he won't rush back Andy Carroll.

The striker has yet to feature this season after under going ankle surgery, but if he shows no ill effects from a behind-closed-doors match against Southend could come into contention for Saturday's Premier League encounter against Aston Villa.

"Everybody faces a challenge (to start) compared to last season because of the strength-in-depth of the squad. Our squad has proven to be strong until now," said Allardyce.

"Even my trusted captain, Kevin Nolan, has found it difficult to break his way into the side and is extremely frustrated - as are a few of the players.

"Matt Jarvis, having returned from injury, is another player frustrated, so, too, Ricardo Vaz Te and Joey O'Brien. These were my regular players last season.

"But because the other players have done so well while they have been away, it has been difficult for me to put (the regulars) back in based on our performances and results."

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