The England striker made his first appearance of the season in the win over Cardiff on Saturday and is delighted to be back on the pitch.

West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has reflected on his return from injury, insisting his spell on the sidelines was the most frustrating period of his career.

The 25-year-old sealed a club-record switch to Upton Park last summer but an ongoing foot problem enforced a long, hard road back to full fitness.

He made his comeback in the 2-0 win over Cardiff on Saturday - replacing Carlton Cole with 18 minutes left - and set up the Hammers' second goal for Mark Noble.

And Carroll could not hide his joy at being back after revealing how frustrating he found his time in the treatment room.

The England international told his club's official website: "It has been frustrating, and terrible for us obviously. Coming back I can just forget about all that and just think about football.

"It has been a massive nightmare to be honest. I went off to Belgium and then to Holland to fix the injury but now I am feeling really good and all I want to do is play football.

"I can't stand on the sidelines. It drives me crazy. So it was disappointing but I am back now and concentrating on getting match fit."

The win over Cardiff saw West Ham climb out of the relegation zone and appeared to lift some of the pressure on boss Sam Allardyce.