ALL eyes will be on the imposing figure of Andy Carroll at Upton Park.
Carroll has made a timely return from injury for West Ham United, and the striker could well start against Newcastle United.
Carroll seemingly has the hopes of the relegation-threatened club resting on his broad shoulders.
And if anyone is capable of battering defences into submission over the coming weeks and months, it’s surely the big Geordie, who left St James’s Park three years ago.
But West Ham’s back four should also be wary ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game, according to Carroll’s former team-mate Steven Taylor.
Taylor, back in Newcastle’s starting XI after a long absence, is confident his colleagues can trouble a defence which will be without the suspended James Tomkins and injured pair Winston Reid and James Collins.
“We know all about Andy’s quality up front, but the main thing is that we just do our jobs,” Taylor said.
“We’ve got to play to our gameplan. We don’t worry about anyone else, or what they’ve got.
“They should be worried about what we’ve got, especially in attack.
“We’ve got players who will go out there and hurt them, especially going forward. It’s going to be a good game.”
Newcastle lost for a fourth consecutive time last weekend, when Manchester City claimed a win at St James’s Park.
But the scoreline didn’t reflect the game, which saw a stunning strike from Cheik Tiote controversially disallowed for offside because of the positioning of Yoan Gouffran.
The challenge for Alan Pardew’s players is to match the intensity and intelligence of that performance in east London.
“With the performance we put in, we feel we can take the game to West Ham,” said 27-year-old Taylor.
“We’ve got to try and get in amongst them. If we play the football we can play – like we showed against Man City – it’ll be a good game.
“We’ll go there trying to take three points. We want that winning mentality again.
“There’s no reason why we can’t do that.”
Meanwhile, West Ham will also be without former Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan, who is serving a four-game ban for his dismissal against Fulham.
Nolan, also sent off against Liverpool last month, lashed out at Fernando Amorebieta.
n COLIN Cooper believes Marlon Harewood will have a positive impact at Hartlepool United.
The former Newcastle United striker, signed as a free agent after a spell at Bristol Rovers, is set to make his debut for the League Two club at Fleetwood Town tomorrow.
“I don’t see signing him as a risk,” said Hartlepool manager Cooper. “I think Hartlepool has had a hangover of things like that.
“No disrespect to anyone who has been here in the past, but he’s a different kettle of fish – he’s still fit, strong and hungry.
“My first question to Marlon when we met was ‘are you still hungry?’ The answer was yes.”