West Ham eager to boost defence with new signings

Sam Allardyce is fretting after a spate of injuries

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has stressed he is looking to boost his defence with new signings as quickly as possible.

With James Collins, Joey O'Brien (both hamstring) and George McCartney (knee) injured and a Barclays Premier League home clash with QPR to come for his team on Saturday, Allardyce fielded an experimental back-line in last night's FA Cup third-round replay at Manchester United.

Opting to rest Guy Demel by leaving him on the bench, the manager brought midfielder Alou Diarra into a central defensive trio alongside Winston Reid and James Tomkins, with Jordan Spence and Daniel Potts operating as wing-backs.

Allardyce was pleased with the performance those players produced in a contest United won 1-0, but made it clear he wants to bring in reinforcements swiftly.

The 58-year-old, who is interested in Blackburn full-back Martin Olsson, said: "We will try to get some defenders in as quick as we can.

"Alou Diarra did a fantastic job to help on our defensive side, because in terms of player availability, we only had Winston Reid, James Tomkins and Guy Demel who were experienced defenders.

"Alou Diarra stepped into the middle of the back three and did very well.

"Young Jordan Spence and Danny Potts were playing as wing-backs and they did well.

"But we want to improve the squad and we want to get our injured players back as soon as we possibly can."

Allardyce made six changes to his first XI for yesterday's encounter, in which Wayne Rooney's close-range finish in the ninth minute proved to be the only goal.

West Ham had a penalty appeal for handball against Rafael rejected in the second half by referee Phil Dowd, who then awarded a spot-kick at the other end with just over 10 minutes to go for a similar infringement by Spence, only for Rooney to waste the opportunity by blazing over.

Allardyce was critical of Dowd after the game, saying the difference between the two handball incidents was that "Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford", and suggesting the official "couldn't find the courage" to give a penalty against the Brazilian.

He also looked ahead to the weekend, emphasising the importance of having rested some players for the United match with a view to the QPR fixture.

"You have to change your team accordingly depending on what is coming next," said Allardyce, who along with Demel moved Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis and Jack Collison from the line-up that started Saturday's league defeat at Sunderland to the bench yesterday.

"QPR played on Tuesday night (in an FA Cup third-round replay at West Brom), so they get an extra day ahead of it.

"The physical side of the game is massive these days and if you are down compared to the opposition on your physical attributes, it makes it tougher for you to win. So we have to change the team again on Saturday.

"A lot of the players who played against United will play again, but some have been rested, some will hopefully have recovered from injury and we will try to get the strongest side out that we can and see if we can get three points."

One player given a full breather was Joe Cole, who had set up both of West Ham's goals in the original 2-2 draw with United at Upton Park but was left out of the squad completely last night.

Regarding the 31-year-old midfielder - back with his first club having joined the Hammers from Liverpool earlier this month - Allardyce said: "We left him out because he is not ready to be playing Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday.

"It would be unprofessional of me to think after he has just come from Liverpool that he could play three games in one week - it would risk him fatiguing and getting injured.

"So we left him back at West Ham to make sure he has had a full recovery and is available for Saturday."

PA

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport