May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Moore
Thursday, November 1, 2012
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce knows that his side are in for a challenging afternoon when they face Manchester City on Saturday.
The Hammers boss has had success against the bigger sides in the Premier League with Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn but insists that this is a different situation.
“It’s a different scenario, a different team,” Allardyce said. “You set your stall out tactically against these teams to stop the major threats they have.
“They have talented players and that is the key reason why you have to focus on trying to nullify that talent if you can - and maximise your possession.
“If you are limited in possession you have to make sure you have the quality to maximise that and expose one or two of their weaknesses.
“If they have an off day you have to capitalise on it.”
The Hammers have no new injury concerns going into Saturday’s game against the reigning champions.
But none of those players on the treatment table [Guy Demel, Ricardo Vaz Te, Matt Taylor, Alou Diarra and Jack Collison] are going to return for the game.
Allardyce confirmed: “The team news is the same as last week, none of our [fit] players were injured last week nor [are our injured players] now available which is obviously disappointing but something we’ll have to live with until they all get fit again and stay fit.”
City have struggled defensively this season but have been beset by injury problems to their back four, although they still have the world class Joe Hart in goal.
The Hammers boss admitted: “I am surprised [by the amount of goals they have conceded] but, yet again, there’s been a few changes, a few players he’s lost to injury and that sort of disrupts his renowned back four for most of last season.
“I think he’s trying a different style, a different system. He’s lost De Jong, who used to give him that protection that little bit more than perhaps the players he has now. It’s not so much that, I mean it is encouraging.
“It’s what you do when they’ve got possession that’s going to be important, to stop them. I watched Swansea last week and Swansea were very impressive against them but, still, at the end of the day they didn’t get anything out of the game.
“And, when you’re driving back down the motorway or when you’re leaving Upton Park it’s no good saying what a great performance if you’ve lost so, get a result if you’ve given a good performance and that’s what you’re looking for.”
Allardyce is expecting a partisan Upton Park crowd and hopes that they produce a performance similar to their game against Arsenal last month.
He said: “Our crowd will be up for it, we’ll fill the place and they’ll be excited and they’ll anticipate that we’ll give a good performance and that’s all you can ask your players against Manchester City and against the champions.
“As long as you get that good performance, you can ask no more.
“We were very close to getting the result against Arsenal and it was only the fact we missed some crucial chances before Arsenal scored the third and the second late in the game was the reason why we didn’t get a result in that game, you know.
“So it’s one of them again, when you’ve got a result, make sure you take it.”