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Andy Carroll furious as suspension rules him out of Saints clash this month
7:51am Wednesday 5th February 2014 in Sport
Andy Carroll's thoughts appeared clear after the Football Association upheld his red card in West Ham's Barclays Premier League win over Swansea, and the resulting three-match ban.
He will now miss the clash with Saints later this month, which would have pitted him directly against Rickie Lambert - the man who stands between Carroll and a place in the England squad for this summer's World Cup finals in Brazil.
The 25-year-old had been the focal point of the Hammers' attacking display, setting up both Kevin Nolan goals in Saturday's 2-0 victory at Upton Park, before he was sent off by referee Howard Webb having tussled with Swans defender Chico Flores.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said after the game that the club would appeal against the decision, with Swansea counterpart Michael Laudrup suggesting the sending-off had seemed 'a little harsh'.
But the ban will now remain in place and Carroll sent a tweet yesterday afternoon shortly before the official statement suggesting he was aware of the decision, as he simply wrote: ''DISGRACEFUL''.
The Football Association clarified the reasoning behind the decision not to overturn Webb's decision in a short statement on its official website.
"As stated in the Rules and Regulations of The FA, an Independent Regulatory Commission must apply the test of whether the decision to dismiss a player was 'an obvious error'," it read.
"The decision of an Independent Regulatory Commission in relation to a claim of wrongful dismissal is final and binding on all parties and is not subject to appeal."
Carroll, who has only recently returned to the first-team fold following an eight-month injury lay-off, will now miss the Hammers' next three fixtures.
That rules him out of Saturday's clash with Aston Villa and the two home fixtures against Norwich City and Saints as Allardyce looks to steer his side out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The absence of club-record signing Carroll has been one of the major factors in their poor first half to the season, with the win over Swansea just the fifth league victory of the campaign.
That poor form was compounded by a 5-0 defeat against Sky Bet Championship side Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup and an embarrassing 9-0 aggregate reverse in their Capital One Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Now sitting 18th, just a point inside the relegation zone, Carroll's return from a long-standing foot injury injected a much-needed impetus into the Hammers' faltering campaign.
The former Newcastle and Liverpool forward set up a goal on his return from his long-standing foot problem in the 2-0 win at Cardiff and once again showed his value in creating both goals for Nolan in the vital win over Swansea.
But now Allardyce has been hit with the blow of losing his talisman once more and has only Carlton Cole or new signing Marco Borriello to replace Carroll in the starting line-up for the weekend trip to Villa Park.
Cole has recently penned a new deal at the club having re-joined on a short-term contract after being released in the summer, with the former England international scoring five goals so far.
Borriello was brought in on loan in the January transfer window from Roma and the Italy international has yet to feature for Allardyce's side, having notched just once in Serie A before completing his temporary switch to east London.
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