West Ham manager Sam Allardyce hints at changes for Capital One Cup tie against Wigan


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The Independent Football

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has hinted he could make several changes to his starting line-up for the Capital One Cup third round clash with Wigan tonight, even though his players are amongst the fittest in the Barclays Premier League.

Allardyce has been at the forefront of new and innovative ways of improving the fitness and performance of his squads by using statistics and information gleaned from training and competitive matches.

Services such as Prozone have been a big part of Allardyce's managerial approach and new West Ham winger Matt Jarvis has revealed the ideas certainly have an effect.

"I think it shows the fitness in the squad is extremely high and everyone works extremely hard," he said.

"When you look at the stats they're right up there - you look at that all the time and at the minute it's going all right, so I need to keep on top of it."

Midfielder Mark Noble, who is set to sign a new deal at Upton Park, covered almost seven miles in the 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland on Saturday, the furthest distance covered by any player involved in Saturday's league fixtures.

The West Ham squad had their body-fat levels tested last week and the appliance of science has seen the Hammers pick up eight points from their first five games back in the top flight.

But despite being happy with the overall fitness of his players Allardyce has said he will utilise his entire squad for the cup tie with Wigan.

He said: "The players are frustrated on our subs bench. Obviously (Modibo) Maiga will come into the fray, he is feeling his way in, as obviously Wigan will be a great game, not too much pressure on both teams as it is a Capital One Cup game.

"They (Wigan) will make seven or eight changes like they did against Forest and we will make some changes based on (George) McCartney, (James) Tomkins, (Alou) Diarra, Maiga, (Gary) O'Neil, (Matt) Jarvis. They can all play."

Former Newcastle boss Allardyce is also looking to introduce some of his younger players into the first-team picture as the more experienced individuals are given a chance to stake their claim for a starting place for the Premier League game at QPR next Monday.

"We can look at the Under-21 squad, we beat Arsenal 4-1 on Friday in the new development league, and use some of those players as some of the reports I have had are that these players are looking very good from a football point view," he said.

"Robert Hall and Danny Potts will come into the fray. An experienced side and a splattering of younger players, who hopefully if they get a chance, they will deliver a performance that will excite us all.

"The players who are on the bench will show what they have and make a claim for a place in first team."