Rivalry with Rafael Benitez not on Sam Allardyce's mind as West Ham prepare for visit of Chelsea

Little love lost between two managers

Renewing an old rivalry with Rafael Benitez will not be on Sam Allardyce's mind when West Ham meet Chelsea tomorrow, according to the Hammers boss.

There has been little love lost between the pair since they had a clash of style and words when they were managers of Blackburn and Liverpool respectively.

Benitez had sarcastically suggested Barcelona were looking at imitating what he felt was Blackburn's robust style, while Allardyce said: "He's got personal with it for many, many years now. That's why I don't like him and the feeling is probably mutual."

The feud started when Allardyce felt Benitez had made a 'game over' hand gesture when Liverpool went 2-0 up against his Blackburn side in 2009.

However, as he prepared his team to face the European champions in tomorrow's lunchtime kick-off, Allardyce is was not interested in going over old ground.

"I don't want to jump into that scenario, I am a bit bigger than that, I don't want to go tit for tat," said Allardyce.

"It was a long time ago, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then and I am just looking forward to the game.

"All I do is look to compete at a level going against not just Chelsea, but also against a man who has a real good record, to see if we can upset them."

Benitez has yet to win over the Chelsea fans, who roundly booed the former Reds boss ahead of his opening game in charge at Stamford Bridge against Manchester City, which ended goalless.

Chelsea again drew a blank in the midweek west London derby with neighbours Fulham.

Allardyce, however, insists there can be no thoughts of it being a good time to tackle the European champions.

"I would say not because in the last two games they have not conceded a goal. At the heart of every good side is producing a clean sheet," he said.

"Rafa has already sorted out what was a problem under (former manager) Roberto (Di Matteo), and now they have got a couple of clean sheets in a row, so it will not be long before they can turn that into a victory if they continue to defend like that.

"It will be more difficult to break Chelsea down than it would have been, chances will be few and far between."

Allardyce maintains once the Blues are back to winning ways, the boo-boys will soon be appeased.

He continued: "At Chelsea, like any other club, it is all about winning. I am sure once Rafa starts winning, then that will change, when the team starts winning then supporters get behind everybody.

"It takes time to adjust to the ideas of a new coaching regime, that is always the case.

"Over the last few years, Chelsea players have been used to it because they have had a quite a few changes."

West Ham lost 1-0 at Manchester United on Wednesday night, but gave a good account of themselves against the Premier League leaders.

Allardyce will have midfielder Mark Noble available again following suspension, while on-loan striker Andy Carroll will be assessed after picking up a minor knee problem.

The Irons have produce some solid results on their return to the top flight, moving up into the top half of the table.

However, Allardyce knows his injury-hit squad will need all of their resilience to avoid a third straight defeat this weekend, having also lost at Tottenham.

"Every man needs to continue to put the shift in they are doing to try to get a result," he said.

"While we have lost two games back-to-back for the first time, when you look at the size of the teams they are against, I don't think there is any reason for the players to lose confidence

"The key issue for us is to try to get some points on the board as quickly as possible in this difficult run of fixtures."

PA

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness