Sam Allardyce tells West Ham to deliver ‘critical’ victory against West Bromwich Albion

 

Sam Allardyce, the West Ham United manager, knows that he must minimise the pressure on his players after they dropped into the bottom three of the Premier League  on Boxing Day. Their first chance comes at lunchtime today at home to West Bromwich Albion, who are only three points better off.

“The outside world delivers pressure about relegation threat, relegation zones, relegation this, relegation that,” he said. “We’ve had a few six-pointers already this season, so we have to make sure we end up with a result and a win if we possibly can to close the gap on the teams above us. It is critical for us because that would be 17 points after 19 games, which is still not enough but at least it is a start.”

Allardyce faces some added pressure from West Ham’s need to be in the top flight when they move into the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in 2016, but he doubts it is at the forefront of his players’ minds – and he wants to keep it that way. “We all know what a disaster it is not to be in the Premier League and it is a bigger disaster than ever before because the money has gone through the roof again,” he said. “We’ve all got that to cope with, or I have, and make sure the players continue to go out and give all that they’ve got and try to enjoy their football.”

The latest target date for the return of Andy Carroll is 18 January, when West Ham host Newcastle, but Allardyce still hopes to sign two players in the transfer window. Mladen Petric is being released to make space in the 25-man squad and the renewal of Carlton Cole’s short-term contract could also be affected. “If we have got two additions in January, my concern is to make sure they can hit the ground running. That is a massive, massive task in this window, but we have to try and achieve it.

“I can’t tell you when Andy Carroll will be back, I am not medically qualified, but there is no fear he won’t play again this season.”

Allardyce hopes to sign two players month transfer and hinted that he may look abroad. “It would help if they had Premier League experience, but you have to take the CV of a player if they are from abroad, if he is a top, top player in the countries he has played, like a Youri Djorkaeff. He kept me up at Bolton many, many years ago when I was in this position. A player with an impact like that would be important [for] everybody at the club.”

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn