Allardyce and Jones are now top of West Ham's wish-list

Sam Allardyce and Dave Jones have emerged as front-runners for the West Ham job as they prepare for life in the Championship.

They have made no secret of their intention to sign a British manager after Avram Grant's unceremonious dismissal. Both Allardyce and Jones were in the frame to take over last December before David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady took the fateful decision to stick with Grant for the rest of the season.

Allardyce has been out of work since being sacked by Blackburn but has huge experience of turning round under-achieving clubs and a reputation for motivating players.

While Allardyce would instill the kind of fighting spirit West Ham have been lacking, Jones has an impressive track record in terms of team building and talent-spotting. The longest-serving manager in the Championship, Jones has transformed Cardiff without managing to achieve top-flight football.

It is understood that Sullivan and Brady are keen for one or the other to take over at Upton Park but that Gold has not yet made up his mind.

While Martin O'Neill would be the No 1 choice among many West Ham fans, the Northern Irishman is presumably still unhappy at how West Ham handled his supposed move to Upton Park in January.

Chris Hughton, who played for West Ham in the early 1990s, is another name being linked with the vacant manager's job.

Meanwhile, Fabio Capello will name his England squad tomorrow for their final European Championship qualifier of the season against Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday week. Rio Ferdinand and Theo Walcott should be available but Steven Gerrard is out.

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