May 18 2013 Latest news:
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce with the trophy - Blackpool vs West Ham United , npower Championship Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium, London - 19/05/12 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - email@example.com - NO UNPAID USE..
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce insists that aiming to finish fourth from bottom next season is simply not enough
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce insists that mere survival next season is not enough for either him or the ambitious Hammers.
Having bounced back into the Premier League at the first time of asking, you would think that a campaign of consolidation would be in the offing, but Allardyce is having none of it.
“My job will be to try and aim as high as we possibly can in the Premier League,” insisted the boss.
“Let’s look beyond fourth from bottom, let’s see how far we get. Let’s see if we can build it and sustain it from there.”
History does not bode well. Since the Hammers were last promoted back in 2005, of the six teams promoted through the play-offs, four of them have gone straight back down with one of the others finishing fourth from bottom.
Allardyce knows that it is going to be a tough campaign.
“As always in the Premier League it is difficult to get results,” he said.
“There will be times when we get turned over and lose 3-0 or 4-0, in year one that can happen.
“But you have to accept it and not let it affect you because at the end of the day whether it is 1-0 or 6-0 you have still only lost three points.”
There have been times this season when the fans have not always appreciated Allardyce and his team, but he hopes that they can get behind them in the top flight.
“I think as long as the West Ham fans know you are trying your best, and the West Ham fans know when the players are trying their best, then they will back us,” he insisted.
“They know we’re not going to win as many games next year as we’ve won this season.
“But if we get the right team together and we get the right team spirit then we’ll give it a right good go.”
Allardyce has seen it all before and he knows that a good start is imperative.
“The real question for me is how to prepare the team for the best possible start in the first 10 games,” he said.
“That’s what really takes the pressure off because you’re in a mid-table position and there is no talk about relegation every week which is a constant gnaw at the players’ confidence.”
No talk of relegation? Now that would be a novelty!