By Will Butcher
West Ham target man Andy Carroll believes his return to full fitness is all down to his fiancee Billi Mucklow.
The striker scored twice during the Hammers 3-2 loss to Italian champions on Juventus, and has managed to come through pre-season without picking up any injuries.
The former Liverpool striker revealed that he made a change to his training schedule after some advice from Mucklow rather than, as might have been expected, a member of the club’s vast backroom staff.
“My missus got on my case. It started at home,” Carroll said, as quoted by the Daily Express. “I had to listen to her. When she set the ball rolling it was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got to listen to everyone’.
“And obviously it’s worked. Instead of just saying I want to be on the pitch, I have to take a step back and go in the gym.
“I do a little bit of lighter work, or have a second day recovery when the lads are out on the pitch.”
Carroll will be hoping to continue the form he produced at the end of last season, which included a memorable hat-trick against Arsenal in April.
Despite his form towards the end of 2015-16 campaign, Carroll missed out on a call-up to the England squad that flopped miserably at Euro 2016.
The Newcastle academy graduate is set to spearhead West Ham’s attack this season, as manager Slaven Bilic has failed to bring in a new centre-forward despite many attempts.
He has been rejected by the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Gonzalo Higuain and Alexandre Lacazette as he looks to reinforce his attacking arsenal, with doubts remaining over the futures Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia.
In other West Ham news, this young midfielder has agreed terms after coming to an agreement with the Hammers.