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

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee