Sam Allardyce welcomes backing from West Ham owners

David Sullivan and David Gold published an open letter yesterday

Sam Allardyce is happy with the strong backing he has had from West Ham co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold despite the club's current plight.

The Hammers currently sit 19th in the Barclays Premier League and saw an inexperienced side thrashed 5-0 by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday.

But Sullivan and Gold issued an open letter to West Ham's fans backing Allardyce's position and the 59-year-old, who will take his side to Manchester City for the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday, believes it is important to show everyone is determined to turn things around.

"I'm obviously pleased by the united front we are trying to keep under these difficult times at the moment," he said.

"When it comes public from the co-chairmen it is nice to see and hear. From our point of view we are all understanding the difficult position we are in at the moment.

"We all have to work through it together in the hope that we turn it around in to a positive reaction in terms of our results.

"I wasn't backed by my last two chairman and got sacked for no reason at all.

"The day-to-day running of the football club is all I'm focused on. I keep in touch with the owners on a regular basis, it is a daily basis at the moment. I would be more worried if that communication went quiet."

With just one win in their last 13 league fixtures, West Ham are struggling for any sort of form and the 5-0 defeat at the City Ground only compounded the current run.

Allardyce said he understood why the fans would be feeling a little downbeat but once again defended his decision to field a young side at Forest.

"I have a lot of sympathy for them," he said of the supporters who travelled to the East Midlands.

"All I can do is say that I was telling everybody weeks before we played Nottingham Forest that the situation we are in means I would be playing some of the young players in the team.

"We had to prioritise and I told people weeks before. It is now done and dusted and is out of the way."

The majority of West Ham's problems have stemmed from the fact they currently have only 14 fit players, with no recognised centre-back available in recent weeks.

That has changed with the loan signing of Wolves defender Roger Johnson on Monday and Allardyce is ready to play the former Birmingham man on Wednesday.

"All our other efforts in securing a central defender prior to knowing Roger was available were difficult," he added.

"The one big thing about Roger is his Premier League experience at Birmingham City. His height, which has been a weak point for us recently, and a desire to come and show he has still got the capabilities of coming to play at this level.

"He is not cup-tied, so going into one of the biggest games of the season for us with someone with his experience against one of the biggest sides in the Premier League is a help.

"If you look across the board at Man City, aerially we have to be very competent and Roger will be a great help in that area particularly.

"He is very determined and excited about the opportunity he has got after being basically frozen out at Wolves."

PA

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