Premier League: Manchester United and West Ham improve to send message - 'Thats for you boss'

Relief for Sam Allardyce and David Moyes as their sides clinch crucial Premier League wins

Two of the Premier League’s most beleaguered managers found respite yesterday as West Ham’s Sam Allardyce and Manchester United’s David Moyes both emerged from must-win games with victories.

Manchester United’s 2-0 home triumph over Swansea avenged their defeat by the Welsh side in the FA Cup six days ago while West Ham moved clear of the relegation zone after winning 2-0 in Cardiff.

Allardyce preferred action to words at the end of a daunting week yesterday. He did not choose to discuss the success, achieved despite the dismissal of defender James Tomkins, who was sent off shortly after Andy Carroll was introduced for his first game of the season as a 70th-minute substitute.

Allardyce’s assistant, Neil McDonald, dealt with post-match media duties, which inevitably centred on the release of pressure to sack the manager following a mid-winter slump. “Sam has never quit on anything in his life,” said McDonald. “As manager, coaches and players, we have been hurting because we have not performed to the level we can.

“We have showed a lot of character under severe criticism and hopefully this will be a turning point. It should give us a lot of confidence. The manager knows what he is doing. He knows how to win. This shows everyone is fully behind him. It has been a tough week. We have taken a lot of stick, much of which was probably deserved. This shows that everyone is sticking to the game plan. Being out of the bottom three is another psychological boost.”

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Cardiff’s  new manager, said: “The Premier League is two leagues. We will be competitive in that second league. There was no energy or enthusiasm in the first half, but we were outstanding after that.”