Sam Allardyce has no regrets over resting West Ham players in Capital One Cup exit

 

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes the wholesale changes he made to his side in their Capital One Cup defeat to Wigan last month has worked in their favour.

The Hammers were jeered off the pitch by a small section of their fans following the 4-1 home defeat to Wigan but travel to the DW Stadium to face the Latics on Saturday sitting seventh in the Barclays Premier League table.

Allardyce has guided West Ham to four wins in their opening eight league games on their return to the top flight, with only defeats to Swansea and Arsenal blotting their copy book and the 58-year-old reckons that has been down to his juggling of players.

He said: "Like everything else you change your side accordingly, I think I made eight changes (nine changes) on the day and obviously that was too many and too many of the youngsters came in and didn't quite perform to the level I hoped.

"We suffered a defeat we deserved to suffer - our ability to come back from that and not linger on that has been absolutely excellent.

"While our first priority lies with the Premier League. I'm sure everybody understands that where we are in the Premier League now is probably down to me changing the side around going into games against Crewe and then Wigan, sadly we lost but we have benefited in the Premier League from then on."

Allardyce's side won 4-1 at home to Southampton last weekend but he is still yet to see loan signing Andy Carroll hit the back of the net.

With goals being shared throughout the team the former Newcastle boss is not concerned by the England international's goal drought but conceded Carroll himself might be.

Allardyce said: "I hope not, it doesn't play on my mind, I think it does play on a strikers' mind.

"It would be nice if he did (score) but I think the most important thing is to win games of football.

"Getting your strikers scoring goals is very important, we haven't needed them too much up until now because we have started really well.

"We are spreading them out well with a good diversity of goalscorers, Kevin (Nolan) is out on his own with four which is an outstanding start to the season for him, the rest have got one here and there."

A 2-1 win at struggling QPR on October 1 was West Ham's first away league win of the campaign and Allardyce feels his players will now hold self-belief on their travels following their display at Loftus Road.

"We have got a chance to try and go back-to-back," he said.

"We had a very, very good performance and a very good victory at QPR last time out away from home so that should give us a lot of confidence going to Wigan."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has been operating a 3-4-3 formation on a regular basis this season and Allardyce knows his players have to adjust their approach to counter the Latics.

He said: "I just think we have got to be tactically right on Saturday because of the system they play, we come across that system hardly ever.

"So we have got to make sure we can combat that system tactically and make sure we nullify its strengths and try and expose its weaknesses, if we do that we will give ourselves a great chance of getting a result."

The Hammers still have a number of first-team players absent with Matthew Taylor, Guy Demel, Jack Collison and Ricardo Vaz Te all expected to be missing at the DW Stadium.

Vaz Te, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal earlier in the month, has revealed he is still some distance away from making a return.

"I've got four weeks now during which there is not much I can do, so I just have to make sure I relax and look after myself," he told the club's official website.

"Basically, I was at Chadwell Heath (training ground) until Friday and now I have a week off to either go home or simply to chill out and relax.

"Then I'll come back for two weeks and that completes the first four weeks, which are just steady recovery. After that, I will begin to increase my workload for the next six weeks."

PA

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