Sam Allardyce has plenty to consider for the visit of Coventry City on
West Ham United have rung in the New Year and Sam Allardyce is set to ring
the changes for the visit of Coventry City to a packed Boleyn Ground on
Monday. The manager welcomes back captain Kevin Nolan, George McCartney,
Julien Faubert and Jack Collison from suspension following the 2-1 defeat
for an under-strength side at Derby County on New Year's Eve. Sam Baldock
and Carlton Cole are also itching to step up from the subs bench. Big Sam
will have to consider whether to play Winston Reid and Henri Lansbury after
they made long-awaited returns to the lineup on Saturday. Gary O'Neil is
likely to be rested after his hour against Derby while goalscorer Frank
Nouble played 90 minutes on his first Hammers run-out of the season. Eight
of the Hammers side that finished the game at the weekend were under 24,
aside from Joey O'Brien (25), Carlton Cole (28) and Robert Green (31). Two
of them, Dan Potts (17) and Rob Hall (18) are stars of the FA Youth Cup side
As such the return of Nolan, McCartney and Faubert will bring much needed
experience to help turn around a run of three defeats in five games. "We
have four suspended players back and they will be needed for Monday," Big
Sam said, having had to name five forwards on the bench at Pride Park. "We
need to get back on winning ways against Coventry and try and get as many
points out of the next five or six games that we possibly can. "Saturday was
a disappointing result. We had a horrific start when we didn't want it with
a patched-up back four. It looked like we were very nervous and Derby took
full advantage by scoring two. "We put in a terrific effort to come back but
we couldn't climb the mountain. A mad ten minutes was responsible for our
The manager has challenged his players to start converting the chances they
are making week in, week out with only Nolan, Baldock and Cole on target for
the season-long targets expected. He praised the 20-year-old Nouble but said
another striker was likely to be coming in. "We have already started the
process of bidding but without any success at the moment, either permanent
or loan deals. The co-owners Mr Sullivan and Mr Gold have pressed the button
on a lot of potential deals already. "I can't be more pleased with the way
they have supported me. We haven't managed to clinch one yet. More goals is
what we are after. "The goals have dried up. I know we have Sam back and
that should give us more goalscoring prowess. If there is a goalscorer out
there then we would be interested as well as in other areas obviously."
Although reinforcements are coming, Big Sam believed were the injury
situation to continue to clear and stay clear - only Abdoulaye Faye (calf),
Matt Taylor (calf) and Guy Demel (thigh) remain on the casualty list - he
would have enough in depth to cope with the rigours of the second half of
the season. "There is still a very good squad here that has been stretched
to the very limit. We can't continue to be like that if we want to get to
where we want to go. I am putting our bad run down to this."
The manager is focusing more on recruitment than any potential interest in
his star men. "I am not worried about losing big names. While they are
contracted to us, we will continue to say we want them to stay and see us
back in the Barclays Premier League. We can't lose our best players. "I
always say to everyone, even if you get £15m it is not as much as the
guaranteed £90m if you go back up."
Having O'Neil back involved after being out since April with a serious ankle
injury was a major positive going into 2012. "It is like having another new
player in Gary, and it is great to see him back. It has been a long haul for
him. Everyone was saying it could be 12 months before he played again so it
looks like he is ahead from that point of view. "I didn't want to play him
longer than the hour we did because it would have been a massive effort for
him to do that. He is a fit lad and will feel much better about himself now.
There doesn't appear to be any problems with the ankle."
He like the manager is only looking forward now. Certainly Big Sam was not
interested that leaders Southampton lost last time out or that Middlesbrough
had leapt a point above the Hammers into second. "There is not much ground
lost but going into December I think we were six points ahead of third and
we wanted to maintain that throughout December and then keep on track. We
are now four points behind our target of two points a game - that is the
farthest we have been behind all season." "I am optimistic for 2012. We have
to get back on track and most of the reason would be to get the players in
the squad fully fit and have a full squad to choose from and have the
opportunity to pick the best eleven for each game rather than just who is
Coventry City match preview
Kevin Nolan and Jack Collison are back in the fold for the Hammers' first
game of 2012
WEST HAM UNITED v COVENTRY CITY
MONDAY 2 JANUARY 2011
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
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• West Ham United welcome Coventry City looking for a seventh home win of
the season and to help arrest a run that has seen them lose three times in
their last five outings.
• The Hammers know a victory over the Sky Blues would keep up the pressure
on the top two in the npower Championship. Southampton are three points
ahead on 47 points, while Middlesbrough are a point in front on 45.
• Coventry City go into the weekend 23rd in the npower Championship table,
having not won away from home all season. In fact Coventry last won on the
road on 12 April.
• A home victory would be the Hammers fourth successive league and cup
victory over the Sky Blues, and would also be their first league double
against Coventry since the 1986/87 campaign.
• West Ham United's 39 league goals have been shared between 16 different
players. Carlton Cole leads the way with eight goals to his name.
• Although Coventry have scored just 20 league goals this season, Lucas
Jutkiewicz has nine to his name. The Sky Blues have registered just six
goals away from home.
West Ham United
• West Ham United welcome back George McCartney, Kevin Nolan, Julien Faubert
and Jack Collison after suspension. The 31 December deadline for a one-match
ban for five cautions has now passed.
• Sam Allardce could rest Joey O'Brien, after the Irishman played with a
severe ear infection against Derby on Saturday.
• Gary O'Neil and Frank Nouble may also miss out after playing their first
Hammers minutes of the season on Saturday, while Henri Lansbury and Winston
Reid started for the first time since 18 October and 1 November
• Robert Hall could make his home bow after his debut at Derby. He is in an
initial 20-man squad named by the manager.
• Marek Stech (shoulder), Matt Taylor (calf), Abdoulaye Faye (calf) and Guy
Demel (thigh) are the only injury absentees.
• Pablo Barrera and Jordan Spence are on season-long loans at Real Zaragoza
and Bristol City respectively. Cristian Montano (Dagenham & Redbridge),
Herita Ilunga (Doncaster Rovers) and Callum McNaughton (AFC Wimbledon) are
all out on temporary loans.Coventry City
• While the Hammers may make several changes, Andy Thorn has limited options
for the Sky Blues.
• Club skipper Sammy Clingan, defender Nathan Cameron and forwards Cody
McDonald and Clive Platt, who scored in the previous fixture in November,
are all expected to be on the sidelines.
Last time out
Saturday 31 December 2011
Derby County 2-1 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Potts, Bouba Diop (Hall 79),
Lansbury, Noble, O'Neil (Cole 61), Piquionne (Baldock 61), Nouble
Subs not used: Sears, Carew
Goals: Nouble 42
Saturday 31 December 2011
Coventry City 2-0 Doncaster Rovers
Coventry City: Murphy, Keogh, Craine, Wood, Christie, Bell, Baker, Deegan
(Bigirimana 81), Thomas, Jutkiewicz, McSheffrey
Subs not used: Dunn, Hussey, McPake, Jeffers
Goals: McSheffrey 34, Jutkiewicz 54
Last six meetings
19 November 2011 Coventry City 1-2 West Ham United
30 October 2007 Coventry City 1-2 West Ham United (League Cup fourth round)
9 April 2005 West Ham United 3-0 Coventry City (Championship)
30 August 2004 Coventry City 2-1 West Ham United (Championship)
1 November 2003 West Ham United 2-0 Coventry City (Division One)
12 February 2003 Coventry City 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
Overall record v Coventry City (all competitions) W 43 D 24 L 26
West Ham United
2010/11 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th
2008/09 Premier League 9th
2007/08 Premier League 10th
2006/07 Premier League 15th
2005/06 Premier League 9th
2004/05 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th
2002/03 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th
2010/11 Championship 18th
2009/10 Championship 19th
2008/09 Championship 17th
2007/08 Championship 21st
2006/07 Championship 17th
2005/06 Championship 8th
2004/05 Championship 19th
2003/04 Division One 12th
2002/03 Division One 20th
2001/02 Division One 11th
• Monday's referee will be Simon Hooper.
• Having joined the Football League list in 2008/09, Hooper has never taken
charge of a West Ham United fixture.
• He has taken charge of 16 matches this season, most recently Reading's 3-0
win at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day.
• His only Coventry game to date was 16 March 2010 when they lost 2-1 at
home to Cardiff City through Peter Whittingham's last-minute penalty.
Us and them
• The following players have worn the colours of both West Ham United and
Coventry City during their careers - Jack Ball, Gary Breen, David Burrows,
Noel Cantwell (manager), Laurie Conwell, Calum Davenport, Alan Dickie, Alf
Fenwick, Bobby Gould, Tommy Green, Mike Grice, Robbie Keane, Tom Lee, Joe
Loughlin, Mike Marsh, Cyril Norrington, Graham Paddon, Stewart Robson, Les
Sealey, Danny Shone, Matthew Smailes, Elliott Ward and Steve Whitton.
• Coventry City and Wales striker Freddy Eastwood spent time with West Ham
United as a schoolboy and trainee before leaving and joining non-league
Grays Athletic in 2003.
• Sam Allardyce played 28 games for Coventry City under former Hammers
favourite Bobby Gould in the 1983/84 season.
• Wally Downes and Coventry manager Andy Thorn were team-mates at Wimbledon
during their playing days.
• The first-ever meeting between West Ham United and Coventry City took
place at the Boleyn Ground on 21 November 1908. The Southern League First
Division fixture ended in a 2-0 win for the Hammers in front of 6,000 fans,
with the goals being scored by Jack Foster and Tom Randall.
• The first Football League meeting between West Ham United and Coventry
City took place in front of 15,000 supporters at Highfield Road on 6
December 1919. The match finished in a goalless draw.
• The largest crowd to witness a Coventry City versus West Ham United
fixture is the 34,568 who turned out for a League Cup semi-final first leg
at Highfield Road on 27 January 1981. The Sky Blues triumphed 3-2 on the
night, but the Hammers prevailed 4-3 on aggregate.
• West Ham United's biggest-ever home win against Coventry came on New
Year's Day in 1921. The Hammers were 7-0 victors in the second tier fixture.
• Coventry City's best away showing in east London was a 3-0 success on 11
• Fourteen players have made their West Ham United debuts against Coventry
City - Stephen Smith (December 1919), William Guest (October 1936), Rod
Williams (November 1937), Eddie Chapman (September 1948), Clive Charles
(March 1972), Everald La Ronde (April 1982), Joe Gallagher (December 1982),
Greg Chappell (September 1984), Stewart Robson (January 1987), Frank Lampard
(January 1996), Paulo Futre (August 1996), Javier Margas (August 1998), Adam
Newton (September 1999), Kaba Diawara (September 2000) and Brian Deane
• West Ham United travel to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup third round on
Sunday 8 January, while Coventry take on Southampton at home on Saturday 7
January in the same competition.
• Limited tickets will be available on the day, go to www.whufcboxoffice.com
for more information
• Monday's weather forecast is for a clear, dry day with temperatures
peaking around the 7C mark.
West Ham v Coventry
Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Sunday, 1 January 2012
Venue: Upton Park Date: Monday 2 January Kick-off: 1500 BST Coverage: Watch
highlights on The Football League Show; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC
local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Captain Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison, George McCartney and Julien Faubert all
return from suspension for West Ham. Abdoulaye Faye is a doubt with a thigh
injury, while Guy Demel, Matt Taylor and David Bentley are all still
Coventry manager Andy Thorn looks set to name the same side that beat
Brighton 2-0 on Saturday. Captain Sammy Clingan, strikers Cody McDonald and
Clive Platt and defender Nathan Cameron are likely to miss out.
• Of 93 competitive meetings since 1919, West Ham have won 43,
Coventry 26, with 24 drawn.
• West Ham are pursuing a fourth successive league and cup victory
over the Sky Blues, which would complete their first league double over them
• The Hammers have lost only one of the last nine meetings, and are
four goals shy of totalling 150 against Coventry (all comps).
West Ham United
• Saturday's 2-1 away defeat to Derby was West Ham's third loss in
five league outings.
• Sam Allardyce is hoping to mastermind a seventh home win of this
league campaign. Cardiff, Burnley and Ipswich are the only clubs to have
taken away all three points from Upton Park this term.
• Arsenal on 1 January 2008, was the last club to deny the Hammers any
points from a first league fixture in a new year.
• Coventry have moved off the foot of the table, and are experiencing
their best results of the season. They visit London's East End in search of
a third straight league win for the first time this term.
• However the Sky Blues are the only club without an away win in the
• Andy Thorn's side have lost the last four on the road, and have not
enjoyed a victory in 13 away from home, drawing four and losing nine since
beating Portsmouth 3-0 at Fratton Park on 12 April.
West Ham United v Coventry City
Filed: Monday, 2nd January 2012
By: Preview Percy
Preview Percy is currently recovering from New Year's Eve. He didn't have
too much to drink, it's just that the idea of wishing anyone a 'Happy New
Year' made him feel quite unwell. Before he went for a lie down he left us a
few words about our opening fixture of 2012. As usual John Northcutt has all
the interesting historical stuff for us at the end.......
Next we entertain Coventry City at the Boleyn. Saturday service on the tubes
and those who are enjoying the break to play with train sets that were
Christmas presents "for the kids" may care to note that the DLR has
engineering works on some sections.
When we last met they were second from bottom on goal difference from
Doncaster, which is where they are today. However the difference is that in
between the two fixtures they did hit rock bottom for a while as fellow
strugglers Doncaster Rovers hit a wee patch of form. Since we beat them at
the Ricoh Arena they drew with Cardiff at home (1-1), lost away at Brighton
and Portsmouth (both 2-1) and lost at home to Hull and away at Peterborough
(both 1-0). They enjoyed a good festive period though, beating an improving
Bristol City at home 1-0 on Boxing Day and, on New Year's Eve, turning over
a Brighton side that are right off the boil at the moment, McSheffrey and
Jutkiewicz giving them a 2-0 nome win. This win, coupled with Doncaster's
defeat at the hands of Watford, lifted them from bottom spot, again on goal
Their last six on the road would indicate a spot of travel sickness. They've
drawn two and lost their last four on their travels and they possess the
dubious honour of being the only side in the division not to have won an
away match this season.
Off the field you may recall that there had been friction between supporters
and the club's owners, a mob called Sisu, with the former accusing the
latter of using heavy-handed tactics in dealing with protests. There have
been a few developments on the ownership front. Mid-December's accounts
revealed that there had been a big transfer of club shares the previous year
in to a company called Sconset – which sounds like a set of plates used at
some of the nation's more genteel tea rooms. Any supporters getting excited
at the news though would have soon been disappointed as it transpired that
Sconset are 100% owned by Sisu. Meanwhile (keep up there'll be questions
later) Ken Dulieu resigned as chairman and now calls himself "Director of
Football Operations". Nobody has a clue what that means but it is a position
that Dulieu felt qualified him to sit next to manager Andy Thorn in the
dugout for the Hull match. The supporters were well impressed by that little
stunt I can tell you.
It's too early in the nascent transfer window for them to have made any
personnel changes. The major absentee for the Sky Blues is likely to be
skipper Sammy Clingan. Most reports I have read note that the alien-named
midfielder has a fractured toe, suggesting that the word "metatarsal" is
either a) no longer fashionable; or b)only applicable to players in the
Premiership. Clive Platt, who netted the opener in the return fixture, will
also be missing.
The injury to Clingan means that Thorn, if it's ok with Dulieu, will be
looking to try to field a side unchanged from that which beat Brighton. This
would see the striking partnership of McSheffrey and Lutkiewicz continue.
Lutkiewicz remains their top scorer on 9 for the season – no other player
has scored more than twice, a stat which tells its own story.
As for us, well there'll be brighter news on the team front as Collison,
Faubert, Nolan & McCartney all return from suspension. Faye, Taylor and, of
course, Demel will all be absent through injury. The suspensions ending will
ease the pressure on the squad and we may see young Potts return to the
bench with Linda available – though I thought McCartney was ok at centre
back and I wouldn't be too upset to see him replace Reid who looked rusty on
Saturday. O'Neil is another who would benefit from a spell on the bench.
Circumstances dictated that he started at the weekend and his lack of match
fitness was all too apparent – if totally understandable. With all the
returning players I'd dearly like to see a place on the bench found for
Robert Hall. Saturday's match showed the most tantalising of glimpses of
pace and skill from the youngster, qualities that were sadly lacking from
the rest of the team at the weekend.
We need to recover from the recent slump in form The manager has been quick
to point out that the injuries and suspensions have played a part in our
recent problems. However with four coming back and others already recovered
or recovering from knocks the rime for that particular excuse is coming to a
close – especially with new players promised over the next few weeks.
Although they have won their last two, their away form is rotten and, with
the returning players we really ought to have too much for them so for this
match I'll plump for a 2-0 home win as we start to get back on track.
Enjoy the game!
When Last We Met: 6,000 of us saw us win 2-1 at the Ricoh back in November.
The last meeting at the Boleyn took place in 2004/05. The opening goal was
an own goal from Richard Shaw – the announcing of which got a certain Mr
Nicholas into a spot of bother as mentioned in his book Mr Moon Has Left The
Stadium which, by total coincidence, is available from this very website.
Sheringham & Zamora scored late on.
Referee: Simon Hooper – yet another taking his first Hammers match. Let's
hope he's not one looking to make a name for himself like many we've had in
Danger Man: Lukas Jutkiewicz – still their top scorer so I'll stick with
Daft fact of the week: The first bicycle ever made in England was made in
Coventry. Unfortunately it was completely destroyed when someone made the
mistake of letting Micky Quinn try to ride it.
Stat man John: Northcutt's corner
On the 3rd March 1967 the Hammers played at Highfield Road for a match in
which the Winston Churchill Trophy was at stake. Two goals from Peter
Brabrook and one from Geoff Hurst saw the Hammers draw 3-3.
In the resultant penalty shoot out, West Ham scored nine to Coventry's seven
to win the trophy.
John Moncur (a) 1999-2000
Steve Lomas (a) 2004-2005
They Played For Both
Bobby Gould; Alan Dickie; Elliott Ward; David Cross; Calum Davenport; Jack
Ball; Alf Fenwick; Tommy Green; Graham Paddon; Stuart Pearce; Stuart Robson;
Danny Shone; Les Sealey; Danny Shea; Matt Smailes; David Speedie; Perry
Suckling; Michael Hughes; Craig Bellamy; Zavon Hines; Steve Whitton; Cyril
Norrington; Mike Marsh; Jim Loughlin; Laurie Conwell; Freddie Sears.
Our manager Sam Allardyce also played for Coventry during the 1983-84
West Ham v Coventry preview
Last updated: 1st January 2012
Team news ahead of West Ham's Championship clash with Coventry at Upton Park
on Monday afternoon. Skipper Kevin Nolan is one of four West Ham players
back from suspension. Nolan, fellow midfielder Jack Collison, defender
George McCartney and winger Julien Faubert all return to the squad after
they were ruled out of Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Derby. Centre-half Winston
Reid came through unscathed after eight weeks out with a dislocated shoulder
and is set to keep his place, while striker Sam Baldock returned from a
hamstring injury as a substitute and could be in the starting line-up.
Right-back Joey O'Brien will continue despite an ear infection but
centre-back Abdoulaye Faye remains doubtful with a thigh injury. Guy Demel
(thigh), Matt Taylor (calf) and David Bentley (knee) are still missing.
Coventry manager Andy Thorn is expected to have the same squad of players at
his disposal as those who rounded off 2011 with a 2-0 victory over Brighton
- clinching back-to-back wins for only the second time in the calendar year.
Thorn, dealing with the usual bumps and bruises when faced with two games in
three days, may well be tempted to keep faith with an unchanged XI and a
successful new-look 4-3-3 formation as the Sky Blues won by two goals for
the first time since September. Much of that may well depend on whether
fit-again Martin Cranie can handle two games in quick succession after
making his return from a rib injury against the Seagulls, while fellow
defender Cyrus Christie also shook off a knock to start. Left-back Chris
Hussey overcame an ankle problem but was only named on the bench and
provides an option should change be needed, although Thorn, while wary of
the daunting trip to the high-flying Hammers and the possible need to
tighten up, will be reluctant to tinker with his side too much. Skipper
Sammy Clingan (fractured toe), strikers Cody McDonald and Clive Platt (back)
and defender Nathan Cameron (knee) are likely to miss out again.
Exclusive: Everton join chase for £4m-rated League One star
Published 22:24 01/01/12 By Alan Nixon
Everton boss David Moyes has joined the chase for Huddersfield hot shot
Jordan Rhodes - but will have to find £4 million to get the new Scotland
cap. Moyes is looking for a goalscorer and will rival West Ham and Celtic
for the prolific forward who is pushing Lee Clark's side towards promotion.
The Goodison chief will be given money for a new forward by owner Bill
Kenwright. His budget is below Rhodes's asking price, but he can pay for the
striker in installments. Rhodes has shown his class for club and country
this season and Everton spies think he could be the answer to their
problems. The Terriers are reluctant to sell but they have an auction on
their hands and may take the biggest bidder if it reaches the £4 million
figure. Hammers are also committed to landing Rhodes, but his valuation may
be too rich for SPL giants Celtic who would have to sell before they can
fund his capture.
Wolves plot Piquionne move with Hammers poised for double striker swoop
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 10:30 PM on 1st January 2012
Wolves are interested in West Ham United striker Frederic Piquionne. The
33-year-old is available for a cut-price fee as West Ham look to bring in
Bristol City's Nicky Maynard and Fulham's Bobby Zamora. Meanwhile, Andy
Keogh has returned to Molineux from his loan at Leeds.
West Ham boss: Only big money would tempt us to sell best players
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Sunday, January 1, 2012
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has insisted that only huge cash bids for his
players could tempt him to part with them during the January transfer
window. The Hammers are actively looking to bolster their squad as they look
to bounce back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, but at
the same time there have been rumours that both Carlton Cole and James
Tomkins are attracting interest from the Premier League. "We've had no
serious bids for either player," insisted Allardyce following Saturday's 2-1
defeat at Derby County. "We had a small, unrealistic approach from Newcastle
for Tomkins a few weeks ago that was completely dismissed because of how
small the offer was."
So is the West Ham manager afraid that he may lose one or two of his best
players this month? "Not particularly," he said. "While they are contracted
with us we will continue to say that we want them to stay with us and help
us get back to the Premier League and if I am going to lose my best players
we are not going to be able to do that. "I always say to the owners, like I
say to everybody else. If you get seven, eight, 10 or even £15million for a
player, it is still not as much as a guaranteed £90 million if you get back
up," he explained. "It is a guaranteed £90 million, even if you get
relegated again. You can take the money, but you are gambling losing
£40million a year, plus whatever you do in the Premier League, and all the
glory that goes with being a Premier League side, so I don't think we should
Allardyce though was quick to qualify those remarks. "Unless the money is
so, so big that I can do a lot with it in that period of time and make the
squad better if we sold this player and brought in players that would
bolster the squad and make us better than if we kept him. "That would be the
only reason to sell somebody."
Allardyce is more interested in bringing new faces to the club, though so
far he has been frustrated in his attempts to prise Jordan Rhodes from
Huddersfield and Peter Whittingham from Championship rivals Cardiff City. "I
think we have already started the process of bidding without any success at
the moment, either for permanent or loan deals," admitted Allardyce. "The
co-owners have pressed the button on a lot of potential deals already which
I can't be more pleased about for the way they have supported me, but
unfortunately we haven't been able to clinch one. "This is a very, very good
squad here that has been stretched to the limit and we can't continue to be
like that if we want to get where we want to go."
Expect more transfer activity in the next couple of days.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce demands more goals from strikers
following defeat to Derby County
Sam Allardyce has challenged his misfiring squad to start scoring the goals
needed to get their promotion challenge back on track.
By Rajvir Rai11:00PM GMT 01 Jan 20121
West Ham have scored four goals and won just once in their last five games —
a run that has caused them to slip to third in the Championship, three
points behind leaders Southampton. So concerned is Allardyce about his
side's profligacy in front of goal that he is determined to sign a forward
during the January transfer window — despite naming seven strikers, five of
them on the bench, in squad during the weekend defeat at Derby. "More goals
is what we are after," He said. "We are making the chances but not
converting them and that is a big worry for me. Our leading goalscorers are
Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole and Sam Baldock and that is really not enough. The
others, in terms of wide areas and other strikers like Freddie [Piquionne]
and John [Carew], haven't contributed enough. "We are not saying we are
going to get rid of them, but we are going to put their places under even
more threat if they don't start, when playing, scoring more goals. If there
is another goalscorer out there we would be interested."
West Ham host a Coventry side buoyed by back-to-back victories that have
lifted them from the foot of the table today and have Jack Collison, Nolan,
George McCartney and Julien Faubert available after suspension. With
long-term absentees Winston Reid and Gary O'Neill also returning to action,
Allardyce's is hoping his side has survived the worst of a costly injury
crisis. "I've never suffered such a devastation to a squad as this," he
continued. "The continual loss for long periods of players has cost us very
much. "We were on two points a game going into December – well on our target
– and now we're four points behind that, the furthest we've been behind that
target all season, and the reason is the lack of players available has
caught up with us in the last three or four games. But six injuries and four
suspensions is very difficult for anyone to overcome."
Allardyce remains confident promotion will be achieved this season, however,
and hopes a few new faces can get his side back on track. He added:
"Promotion was always going to be difficult even with a full squad, but we
have to put this behind us. If the squad stayed fit, with one or two players
injured, then I would have every confidence the players I've already got now
could take us up. "If we can strengthen the squad with a better player than
what we've already got then that's great. "I'm optimistic about the New Year
but we have to get back on track."
Derby (4-4-2): Fielding, Brayford, Barker, Shackell, Roberts, Green, Bailey,
Bryson, Ward (Davies, 72), Ball (Buxton, 90), Tyson (Robinson, 45).
Subs not used: Buxton, Davies, Legzdins, Priskin.
West Ham (4-5-1): Green, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Potts, O'Neill (Baldock,
61), Diop (Hall, 78), Lansbury, Noble, Nouble, Picquionne (Cole, 61).
Subs not used: Carew, Sears, Hall.
Booked: Lansbury, O'Brien, Reid, Cole.
Referee: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire).
Allardyce targets winning run after Hammers slump
GILES LUCAS MONDAY 02 JANUARY 2012
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has set his team the target of winning "four
games on the trot" after they fell to a narrow 2-1 loss at Derby on
Saturday. The defeat meant West Ham failed to capitalise on leaders
Southampton's surprise Friday-night loss to Bristol City. And ahead of
Coventry's visit to Upton Park today, Allardyce said his side must return to
winning ways to reinvigorate their push for automatic promotion.
"We've got to get over this difficult period and get back to as near to
full-strength as we can and start winning," said Allardyce, whose
third-placed team have now lost three of their last five league games.
"We're in a situation now that it's a group of wins we need to put together.
We're four points behind where we want to be and to catch up those four
points you need to win four games on the trot."
Allardyce did, though, express his relief that four suspended players will
return to action today, after being without captain Kevin Nolan, Jack
Collison, George McCartney and Julien Faubert at Derby. "The only good thing
is that we've got our suspended players back to choose from, which makes us
a lot stronger," he added. "That's what we need."
Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray rued his team's missed chance to go level
on points with Southampton after his side were held 1-1 at home to
"It feels like a defeat," reflected Mowbray. "With the results
[Southampton's and West Ham's defeats] we saw an opportunity but for
whatever reason the ball didn't go into the net for that second goal."
Mowbray, whose second-placed team visit Blackpool today, also revealed a
desire to bring in forwards with "physicality" during this month's transfer
window to help sustain his side's bid for promotion.
"We need a different option," Mowbray said. "Sometimes when you're playing
against packed defences you need a bit of physicality. We'll work hard, ask
questions and hopefully January will bring some reinforcements."
Reading manager Brian McDermott believed it was his side's sheer
determination which allowed them to defeat Ipswich 1-0, Alex Pearce's header
securing the home win. "There was nothing in the first half," said
McDermott. "We didn't play particularly well, they made it really difficult
and passed it well.
"Sometimes you have to win ugly. Sometimes you need performances like this.
Attitude, desire, will to win, we had all of those things."
Reading, fifth in the league, today visit fourth-placed Cardiff, who
prevailed 1-0 at Nottingham Forest courtesy of Kenny Miller's 59th-minute
goal. Cardiff manager Malky Mackay heaped praise on the 32-year-old forward.
"Good centre-forwards score goals regularly throughout their career," said
Mackay. "Even if they have barren spells there's an inner belief, they don't
"That's character. I want to bring in people with personality and you don't
captain your country without that. Kenny's got personality."
Mackay, whose side are three points behind Middlesbrough, also expressed
hope that Cardiff would sustain their contention for promotion.
He said: "I'm delighted by the way they have stuck together and we want to
give it [promotion] a right good go. Being involved at the top end of the
league with 10 games to go will be giving it a good go."