West Ham boss Sam Allardyce feels Andy Carroll is targeted for extra attention from opposing defenders as he searches for his first goal for the club.
The 35million striker, currently on loan from Liverpool, again failed to find the back of the net as the Hammers were held to a 1-1 draw by Stoke at Upton Park. But Allardyce believes Carroll's reputation means he will always be highlighted as the main threat by opposing teams.
"He is going to attract attention by the fact he is very good at his hold-up play and [because of] his heading ability, and people are going to need to pay particular attention to him," he said.
"Andy is not to be frustrated by the fact that he is not scoring at the moment and in fact today he didn't get much of a chance to score. But I think sooner or later, if we keep concentrating on him making runs into the box and the service we give, he will eventually score."
Jonathan Walters opened the scoring for the visitors with a smart finish following a well-worked corner routine and Allardyce needed defender Joey O'Brien to hit only his second goal for the club to rescue a point.
Carroll looked visibly irritated when Allardyce replaced him with Carlton Cole late in the second half, but the former Blackburn boss felt his side needed fresh impetus after Carroll had put in a busy shift as the lone forward.
"Fresh players with fresh legs can come on and try and push the opposition and try to score a goal. He will be disappointed, I know, but in the end you make the subs for the benefit of everybody to try and win the game," he said.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis revealed his side had been working over the past few days on the corner that unlocked the West Ham defence with just 13 minutes on the clock.
"We have worked on it for the past three days, we tried it five or six times and Jonathan Walters has never scored from it so I'm glad he saved it for today."
He added: "I spend a lot of time watching videos and watching teams and I felt if we could do this it would come off. You work on it millions and millions of times."