West Ham V Reading at Boleyn Ground : Match Preview
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Allardyce keen to keep Carroll
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed he is keen to retain the services of on-loan Liverpool striker Andy Carroll and hopes a deal can be finalised as soon as possible.
Carroll joined the Hammers from Liverpool on a one-year loan deal last August after struggling to establish himself at Anfield following his club-record #35million switch from Newcastle in January 2011.
The 24-year-old has been hampered by injury during his time at Upton Park but, since returning to fitness, he has hit form over the last few months and was this week recalled to the England squad for the upcoming friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
And Allardyce has also seen enough to want Carroll back at West Ham next season, believing the powerful hitman can develop into a "very good player" at the club.
"He has shown everybody what he can do and he has massive potential to grow into a very good player if he ends up back here with us," Allardyce told reporters ahead of West Ham's final Barclays Premier League match against Reading.
"He's so willing to learn and become better that I think we could do well for each other, but there is a way to go before that might get sorted.
"It's about negotiation and both parties have to be happy that the negotiation cannot go any farther and it's a 'yes' or 'no'. We hope it's a 'yes' and we hope it is as quickly as possible."
Defender James Tomkins (calf) remains a fitness concern ahead of the final game of the season against relegated Reading.
Northern Ireland international George McCartney (knee) remains sidelined.
Reading midfielder Hope Akpan may be involved on Sunday.
Akpan was on the bench against Manchester City on Tuesday but did not play having missed the previous four matches with an ankle problem.
Winger Jimmy Kebe (groin) and goalkeeper Adam Federici (ankle) could miss out once again.
Nigel Adkins insists Reading can be satisfied with their end to the Barclays Premier League season - regardless of what happens against West Ham.
The Royals have secured five points from their last five matches, with their goalless draw against Liverpool on April 13 ending an eight-match losing streak.
Relegation was confirmed three weeks ago when they failed to beat QPR, but Adkins, who has been in charge since mid March, is pleased with the progress that has been made.
"We have already finished on a high note. Over the last seven or eight weeks there's been a good progression in what we've wanted to do," he said.
"The players are in a good state of mind and looking forward there's a lot of belief about what we're doing for the future.
"We've got a driving ambition, we want to be back in the Barclays Premier League.
"The players are well aware of what's going to be required of them next season and there's a feel good factor about the place."
Adkins won his first game since taking charge of the Royals when his side won 4-2 at Fulham a fortnight ago, only to see them lose 2-0 last time out to a Manchester City side smarting from their shock FA Cup final loss to Wigan.
Adkins admires Allardyce, who has steered his side to a mid-table finish after securing promotion from the npower Championship last season.
Reading won the second tier last season as the Hammers had to go through the play-offs, but the east London club have fared rather better in the top flight, even if they are without a win in their last three games.
"West Ham have gone up with a good, experienced manager in Sam Allardyce. I've got a lot of respect for him," he said.
"At the end of the day, they've played winning football. They've done very well because they'll be in the Premier League next season and that's important for everybody."
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