WEST HAM UNITED footballer Andy Carroll was "very brave" after fleeing suspected gunmen for up to 20 minutes in an attempted robbery, his manager has said.

The 27-year-old striker, who has been capped by England, was driving his Mercedes G-Wagon back to his home in Essex after training when he was approached by two motorcyclists, gesturing that they had a firearm, at a junction shortly before 1pm on Wednesday.

The Premier League star sped off when they demanded his watch and he was pursued through the streets as he returned to the Rush Green training ground around 4.4 miles away to seek the help of security staff.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic revealed Carroll was stopped just a "couple of minutes" from his home.

"He was brave because they asked for his watch with a gun, and he put the pedal down and he didn't want to give him the watch," Bilic said.

"So for me it's not about the watch, but for me that's very brave. He got chased for 15 or 20 minutes, it wasn't like 10 seconds, so it was probably planned.

"I know that he was very brave to do what he did. He came back to the training ground and it stopped. But he's good, he's OK, he's not in shock and he acted as a really brave man."

Carroll reported for training on Thursday and, when quizzed by his teammates, appeared to be feeling "good" and "not in shock" over his ordeal, his manager added.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers were called to reports of an attempted robbery at gunpoint in Chigwell.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Police were called at around 12.45pm on Wednesday, November 2, to reports of two males on motorcycles attempting to rob the driver of a car in Romford Road.

"The two men threatened the driver and intimated through gesture that they were in possession of a gun. The motorcyclists attempted to block the car as the driver sought to get away.

"The driver of the car - a man aged in his twenties - was able to manoeuvre away and he called police for assistance. The suspects rode off prior to the arrival of police.

"The driver of the car was spoken to and an allegation of attempted robbery was recorded."

Officers from Redbridge CID are investigating and are yet to make any arrests, the Met said.

A club spokesman said: "West Ham United can confirm an incident targeting one of our players on Wednesday, November 2. The matter is now being handled by the police."