Manuel Pellegrini has delivered a strong message to Andy Carroll that he must prove his worth to get his new contract at West Ham.
The 29-year-old, who is on £90k-per-week wages at the London club, has played just 26 minutes this season following his summer ankle surgery.
The former Liverpool striker will be out of contract at the end of the season, but West Ham have an option to extend his deal for another two years.
Marco Arnautovic has been ruled out for the rest of 2018 with a hamstring injury, and it has left the door ajar for Carroll to make a strong impact.
Pellegrini believes that Carroll has the ability to deliver in the final six months of his contract, and he must demonstrate why the club should offer him a new deal.
“When you need to renew your contract, you must demonstrate why they should be renewing your contract,” said Pellegrini.
“We know what Andy can give to our team and now he must demonstrate he is able to do it week by week. He is now in the last six months and I hope he will be able to do it.”
Pellegrini has also suggested that Carroll could be drafted into the first team but right now he will need to get used to his role as an impact substitute.
“If he can work in the normal way, of course he can be an option to start in our XI. For the moment, I think he can be a very important substitute,” Pellegrini added.
Javier Hernandez and Lucas Perez have both found the back of the net recently, and Carroll has a tough task of breaking into the first team.