June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Moore
Friday, October 19, 2012
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is confident that his side can cope with the threat of Southampton from set pieces.
Last season, Jos Hooiveld headed home the only goal at St Mary’s from a corner and he equalised for the Saints against the Hammers in the aftermath of a free-kick at Upton Park.
They have been strong in that department again this season as against Fulham, two weeks ago, both the south coast club’s goals came from set pieces with Jose Fonte heading home.
While the Hammers boss knows this is an area of strength for Nigel Adkins’ men, he believes his side are more than capable of keeping them quiet.
“We’ll be focusing on our tactical approach to the strengths and weaknesses are on Friday,” Allardyce said.
“One of their strengths is set plays. One of our strengths is not conceding from set plays as well as scoring from them.
“If we cut that side out of it for Southampton then we limit their percentage of chances of scoring a goal because they’re good at it.”
Andy Carroll was delayed in his return after England’s game with Poland was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday because of heavy rain but the Hammers boss does not believe it will cause much problems.
“I wouldn’t have thought so,” Allardyce said. “Normally on international duty a Thursday arrival back is normally what happens. It’s only recently we’ve changed it to Friday-Tuesday.
“It’s about your mental attitude. Winston Reid came back from playing international duty and he had an outstanding game when he got back.
“If you wake up and say I’m ready to play this game and I look forward to it then you play well but if you wake up and say you feel that little bit tired and that 26,000 miles have taken it out of me you won’t play very well.”
Ricardo Vaz Te is out for the next eight weeks with a shoulder injury but Allardyce is also concerned about other injury problems.
“There is more than one replacement needed because we have defensive problems as Guy Demel, Matt Taylor, Joey O’Brien are all struggling,” he explained.
“It’s a test for the squad now. Our squad is more stretched than it has been this season.”
Despite the defensive problems, Allardyce confirmed that he had not been looking at any defenders on trial during the international break.