Carroll sets sights on England recall

He has not played for England since 2012, but Andy Carroll is confident he can prove his fitness and earn a spot at Russia 2018.

West Ham striker Andy Carroll admits he is eyeing a spot in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad next year.

The 28-year-old has endured a torrid time with injuries over the past few seasons but has started three of the Hammers' last four Premier League games.

The former Newcastle and Liverpool man has nine England caps to his name and knows staying fit is imperative if he is to add to that tally this season and force himself into the squad for Russia 2018.

"It would be nice to be in the squad," he told Sky Sports.

"All I have got to do is work hard and hopefully get the call but, at the minute, I am focused on getting fully fit here, scoring goals and getting good results. If I deserve it, hopefully I will get the call.

"I am confident of what I can do and it is different to what they have got at the minute. I am fully confident of my ability.

"I am feeling good. I am feeling a lot sharper than I did at the beginning of the season, getting back fit. I have had a run of games. In training, I feel a lot sharper, not 100 per cent yet but I am getting there."

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, believes Carroll needs to focus on playing regularly and scoring for his club if he is to have any chance of gatecrashing Southgate's squad.

Speaking at his news conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Burnley, Bilic said: "He needs to be consistent, play well, score goals and make an impact on a regular basis for West Ham, to think about an England call-up.

"I watched the second England game because of Aaron Cresswell, but Andy needs to concentrate on club football, because only by playing well for West Ham will he force Gareth Southgate to give him a call."

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