Sam Allardyce has the backing of the West Ham players despite threat of end-of-season axe, says captain Kevin Nolan
Allardyce has admitted himself that he does not know if he will remain the Hammers' manager beyond the end of the season
Sunday 11 May 2014
West Ham captain Kevin Nolan insists Sam Allardyce has the support of all the players and has launched a passionate plea to the club's owners to stick with the Hammers boss.
Allardyce has guided West Ham to safety in the Barclays Premier League for the second consecutive season after taking them up from the Championship at the first attempt.
Reports on Thursday however suggested the Hammers manager was facing the sack after the team's final game of the season at Manchester City on Sunday.
Nolan, who previously played under Allardyce at Bolton, says the players have been surprised by the rumours and are fully behind their boss.
"It shocked a lot of the boys," he said.
"We found it all quite surprising to be honest and we are still quite shocked that people can write that stuff."
Nolan continued: "If you ask anyone in that dressing room, the gaffer has got the full backing of every one of us.
"It's a sad occasion when we are talking about him getting sacked after the magnificent job he has done over the last three seasons and I've been a part of that with him.
"I've seen the difference he's made from when he first walked in - the state of the club from then to what it is now - I'm sure the owners would recognise the magnificent job he's done."
West Ham only guaranteed their top-flight status last weekend with a 2-0 win over Tottenham and currently sit 12th in the table.
Co-chairman David Sullivan apologised to fans for the team's results at the club's end-of-season awards dinner on Tuesday but Nolan rejected the chance to follow suit.
"Do I agree with the apology? Definitely not," he said. "That's the owners prerogative to say what he wants but, if you speak to the fans, I don't think they'd want an apology.
He continued: "I firmly believe and the gaffer firmly believes we could have done a lot better, we know that, but there's been some massive obstacles.
"So I'd tell the chairman you've got to stick with him because you've only got to look at what he built at Bolton.
"He took us from a Championship side to Europe in five years and his record speaks for itself when he's given time to develop a club."
West Ham take on strong title favourites Manchester City, knowing only a win will give hope to fellow challengers Liverpool who would also need to beat Newcastle at home to be crowned champions.
There will be particular motivation for Nolan to lend Brendan Rodgers' side a helping hand given the midfielder is a childhood Reds fan and played for Liverpool's academy from the age of nine.
Nolan was released along with Southampton striker Rickie Lambert when he was 14 but continued to support the club and attended matches at Anfield when he was based near the area while playing for Bolton.
"I had a great few years at Liverpool - there are probably still people there who taught me and coached me," Nolan said.
"I'll be celebrating with them I think if they won the title, my mates would make me go and celebrate with them anyway.
"I've had more texts off Liverpool fans this week than ever before - my brother is on Twitter and he's been offering this and that if we do them a favour.
"It's looking fantastic, it's great to see Liverpool in that position on the last day of the season.
He added: "We've got a few boys who were there and have a few friends up there and with my affinity with Liverpool too it'd be a nice way to finish off the season.
"I hope they do it, but first and foremost I want us to get the points we want."
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