Allen: Hammers fans will love Sam Allardyce

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The Independent Football

Former West Ham midfielder Martin Allen has backed Sam Allardyce to win over even the most sceptical Hammers fans.

Allardyce yesterday signed a two-year contract at Upton Park to replace Avram Grant, who was sacked last month after the club were relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

The former Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn manager's appointment has divided opinion among supporters, many of whom are concerned by his tag as a 'long-ball merchant'.

But Allen, who knows all about the so-called 'West Ham way' having made nearly 200 appearances for the club between 1989 and 1995, insists Allardyce is the right man to turn around the Hammers' fortunes.

"I think he'll do a great job, he is just what they need," Allen, now in charge of Notts County, told Press Association Sport.

"There are some very good young players at West Ham and with Sam's knowledge of the game he will be able to bring in some good new players.

"He will bring strong guidance to the club and that is what the players need, and what the supporters need - someone strong leading from the front.

"The supporters will absolutely love him."