West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes Andy Carroll's arrival gave everyone a massive lift prior to their 3-0 victory over Fulham at Upton Park.
The on-loan Liverpool forward had a hand in all three first-half-goals, before being forced off with a hamstring injury which has ruled him out of England's forthcoming World Cup qualifiers. Skipper Kevin Nolan opened the scoring inside the first minute before goals from Winston Reid and Matt Taylor wrapped up the points.
Allardyce, who worked with both Nolan and Carroll at Newcastle, said: "I think what is important is the delight of everybody when Andy walked through the door today. I think it made us all feel that little bit better when you have got a £35million centre-forward walk through the door whether you have got him on loan or not."
The Hammers boss added: He is a quality centre-forward and he is our number one and we can hopefully play to his strength and he can hopefully help us do what we want to do and that is by winning as many football matches as we can and hopefully we can provide him with the service to score lots and lots of goals.
"It brought excitement to Kevin Nolan's performance because Kevin can feed off Andy instinctively very, very well. Kevin could have probably had a hat-trick today because if he knows the ball is going to Andy he knows he can go beyond and get into areas where Andy can find him."
Fulham boss Martin Jol admitted he expected his defenders to be better equipped to deal with the threat of Carroll.
"If you are 5ft 8ins or 5ft 10ins maybe you have got a problem but we should have coped with it," he said.
"Every game you see him, in the European Championships, you see he is good in the air, he is probably the best in the Barclays Premier League but I still feel there are a few answers for that but we couldn't cope with that."
Jol introduced his own new striker at half-time as Dimitar Berbatov looked to find a way back into the game for Fulham. The ex-Manchester United forward had little chance to shine but Jol was pleased with the impact the 31-year-old had on his team-mates.
He said: "The only positive for today was to see Berbatov again and to see his class and quality, I have missed it. What I did see was that Berbatov brought other players into his play and that is his quality, hopefully with Bryan (Ruiz) available for the next match...we should be a bit more positive."
- Andy Carroll
- Kevin Nolan