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Premier League

Sam Allardyce tells AVB to keep quiet and use criticism as a weapon


The West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes his Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Andre Villas-Boas showed "immaturity" in his criticism of the media following Sunday's draw with Manchester United.

Villas-Boas went on the offensive having endured a week of speculation over his future at White Hart Lane in the aftermath of his side's 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, accusing some members of the press of being "aggressive and agenda-driven".

However, Allardyce, who takes his team to face bottom side Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Tuesday evening looking to follow up Saturday's crucial win over Fulham, insisted that the Portuguese was wrong to enter into an argument. "You have to use the criticism as a motivational drive to show these people that they are wrong. You've got to take it on the chin," he told TalkSport.

"You, and your players, have got to do your talking on the field. He's just showed a little bit of immaturity. It can get under your skin, but you can't let that happen because you're not going to win."

Allardyce went into the weekend under pressure with West Ham only outside the bottom three on goal difference, but the 3-0 win against Fulham has given him some breathing space. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that a defeat to Palace would leave his side vulnerable again.

"The win is just a small contribution to help the situation we're in, but we have to enlarge on that," he said. "Saturday will have been a waste if we lose to Crystal Palace because they're below us and will gain three points on us."

Palace go into the match six points adrift of safety after losing at Norwich on Saturday, with new manager Tony Pulis set to take charge of his first home fixture. With Cardiff City up next at Selhurst Park on Saturday, the former Stoke City manager admitted it is crucial that they pick up some points.

He said: "If we get the crowd behind us, which I don't doubt that, and we get some breaks, then we can do well. We are in desperate need of taking results to stay in the Premier League.

"I'm looking forward to the atmosphere and being a local derby, it gives it a bit of spice," Pulis added. "We need everything from everybody. "We need to stay in the game if we can."