Hammers test for United
The Red Devils got back to winning ways on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers, though they again had to do it the hard way after coming behind from a goal conceded early in the second half.
United’s defensive problems have been a headache for Ferguson this season and Carroll is a man he expects to test his backline to the limit. The lanky striker is on loan at the Hammers from Liverpool.
“He'd played not a lot of games for Newcastle and had to deal with a £35m transfer to a club like Liverpool," Ferguson said of Carroll in the Sunday Mirror.
"He was young and it was quite a big jump for him for that kind of money. We've gambled on young players in the past, a couple of million, something like that.
"But when you get to that level of £35m, you need to do a bit more homework and see how he is in the second season, maybe.
"Now it's up to the boy to improve himself. He's a great header of the ball and very aggressive. He'll be a handful on Wednesday."
United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard says the team needs to get out of the “bad habit” of conceding goals first if they are to continue challenging for the Premier League title.
"We should be concerned. It is a bad habit," said Lindegaard. “We have to look at it.
"I just asked one of my team-mates afterwards, 'what would have happened if we hadn't conceded a goal?' It was like a wake-up call.
"It is a bad feeling to have conceded a goal in this match. It is very disappointing."
Yet while the defence has been porous, United’s attack has been exceptional and Javier Hernandez continued in his role as ‘super sub’ against QPR when he came off the bench to net the final goal.
The Mexican may be called upon to change the course of a game yet again this midweek if the Red Devils don’t hit the ground running against West Ham.