West Ham boss Sam Allardyce relieved to hold onto Mohamed Diame - Premier League - Football - The Independent

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce relieved to hold onto Mohamed Diame

Midfielder had been linked with a move to Arsenal

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is glad focus can return solely to playing football now that the January transfer window has closed.

Yesterday's deadline passed fairly quietly for Allardyce after he signed Joe Cole, Marouane Chamakh and Emanuel Pogatetz before the frantic final day.

Allardyce has always been vocal in his belief that the January transfer window should be scrapped and is pleased he can turn his attention back to halting the Hammers' recent run of poor results, starting at home to Swansea on Saturday.

"We are probably all waking up this morning and, whether we have done enough or we haven't, we will all be pleased that we can focus purely on the games of football we have between now and the end of the season," he said.

"All of the usual mayhem has taken place yet again and we've all been in the middle of it at some stage or another and the distraction is a huge part of trying to get through this period of time and still produce results.

"For us we haven't got the results we wanted to try and get for one reason or another but we haven't gone too heavy into the financial side of the market."

Former Blackburn boss Allardyce believes managers can never be completely satisfied with the deals done during the window, but was pleased with his business, especially after keeping hold of Mo Diame despite the Senegal international having a release clause in his contract.

"We have strengthened and tried to strengthen the team as best we can and the most important thing at the end of yesterday was probably keeping hold of Mo Diame," Allardyce added.

"You're always disappointed in this window, I've never been delighted at the end of a window, in January anyway. It is always ferocious in terms of what you want to do but we have done as well as we possibly can do."

Allardyce could have been forgiven for enjoying the spotlight being turned to off-field matters with his side currently on a run of just one win in their last nine league outings.

The 58-year-old admits West Ham are struggling at the moment but does not feel they are the only club trying to bring about a change in fortunes.

"We are very concerned at this moment in time," he said. "We have only taken five points out of our last eight games and we know that is not good enough.

"But you can have these spells, it is not unique to us. Fulham won (against West Ham on Wednesday) and it was only their third win in 16 matches and Norwich have been the same.

"Lots of clubs like us have had this spell at this moment in time where we have gone a considerable amount of time without the number of wins we wanted."

In contrast, Saturday's opponents Swansea are currently enjoying a purple patch with Michael Laudrup guiding the Swans to the Capital One Cup final and eighth place in the Premier League.

Allardyce believes it is Swansea's defence, rather than their much-praised attacking flair, that is the secret to their success.

"They are in top form," Allardyce added. "I watched the Sunderland game and they really should have won it right at the very end.

"If you look at the team we are playing on Saturday, the reason why they are so successful is contrary to what you all think - it is because they have the best defensive record in the league.

"They have been outstanding both in and out of possession. That is what impresses me the most."

A defeat at Upton Park on Saturday could leave the Hammers just four points clear of the relegation zone by the end of the weekend, but the team will be buoyed by Andy Carroll's return to fitness, with the Liverpool loanee likely to be among the substitutes.

PA

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