Andy Carroll insists West Ham’s players will not be distracted by off-field issues surrounding the future of Dimitri Payet.
Slaven Bilic’s side moved into the top half of the Premier League table for the first time this season following their 3-1 win at Middlesbrough, their second consecutive win since Payet informed the club he wanted to leave.
The Frenchman is currently training with the club’s Under-23 side as he tries to force a move through to his former club Marseille.
But Carroll, who has scored three of his side’s six goals in the back-to-back wins over Crystal Palace and Boro – including a stunning bicycle kick in the 3-0 success over the former – is determined not to let the situation affect his side’s performances on the pitch.
“Our response just proves what the lads have got deep down in themselves – our passion for football, for the manager and for our club,” he told reporters.
“No one player is going to destroy anything. I think the fight the lads have got, the fans standing behind us, it’s all been great.
“It is a very tight-knit group, the tightest it has been since I joined.
“The atmosphere in and around the place is fantastic and that shows on the pitch. You go into the dressing room and the lads are laughing and joking.
“It helps to bring out the best in players, as you can see because we’re on a great run.”
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