Sam Allardyce preparing West Ham for all play-off eventualities
Thursday 03 May 2012
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has left no stone unturned as he attempts to guide the club back to the Barclays Premier League via the play-offs.
The Hammers were pipped to automatic promotion by Southampton on the final day of the season and will now have to get back to the top flight the hard way, starting with a semi-final first leg in Cardiff tonight.
And Allardyce's assistant Neil McDonald says the former Bolton manager has quickly got over the disappointment of missing out on the top two.
"He's been exactly the same as he's always been, on the training ground every day as usual, he's been fantastic," said McDonald.
"I don't think we could have a better man in charge for this. He's so calm, so detailed, there is nothing we haven't looked at, we are ready for everything.
"We don't just have a plan A, we have a plan B and a plan C. If we have to do something we have never done before we will do it.
"He is ready for anything. That's what makes him so good, so experienced, and that's why he has been a manager for a long time."
The Hammers have made it to three finals, two play-offs and once in the FA Cup, in the last eight years.
But they were all played at the Millennium Stadium so the club have not actually been to Wembley since Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and Co were beaten by Liverpool in the 1981 League Cup final.
Their fans will be eyeing a long overdue trip to the national stadium, but for West Ham's players there will be no time for a spot of sightseeing.
"Some teams will see it as a day out but it's business for us, we have a job to do," added McDonald.
"If we are fortunate enough to get through it won't be a day out for the players, that's for sure, it will be business as usual and just classed as another away game.
"We'll look forward to the day when we can talk about the final, but we have two very difficult games first."
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Latest in Sport
Mesut Ozil reveals he really is the Superman at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere is Batman and don't make Lukas Podolski angry - it's the Arsenal Christmas Party
Transfer news: Liverpool - January transfer targets
Brendan Rodgers says missing out on Spurs job was a 'close shave'
The most underrated players in the Premier League
Transfer news: Chelsea - January transfer targets
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early