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Allardyce predicts transfer struggle after Everton man’s West Ham snub

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce. Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images West Ham manager Sam Allardyce. Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Saturday, January 4, 2014
9:35 AM

Sam Allardyce admits West Ham’s relegation battle will make their task even harder as they looks to strengthen in the January transfer window.

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The struggling Hammers are desperate to bring in new recruits this month, with their lengthy injury list leaving them perilously short on numbers as they juggle Premier League survival with their FA Cup and Capital One Cup commitments.

Everton defender Johnny Heitinga looked close to becoming their first major signing of the window earlier this week but had a last minute change of heart.

And although Ivory Coast striker Lacina Traore looks set to join the club on loan, Allardyce predicts it will be hard to convince other targets to sign up for a bottom of the table scrap.

On Heitinga’s snub, he said: “I don’t know what the real reason is, why Johnny didn’t come.

“He just said the morning after it was something he felt wasn’t right.

“That’s the only explanation he gave to me, it wasn’t something I could extract out of him.”

He added: “I knew it was going to be nearly impossible anyway, in this window. As always the window is an impossible scenario to deal with.

“To have to work in it under the circumstances we have makes it even more difficult.

“Because you have got players who will look around and say, ‘Do I want to go to a team in the bottom three? Do I want to go for that fight?’

“Perhaps some of them will say, ‘no. I might as well stay and play the odd game’. You just keep searching and looking.

“But the key element still lies with getting the top players we’ve got injured here as fit as possible as quickly possible.”

With the Hammers languishing in 19th in the Premier League ahead of cup ties against Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, Allardyce admits “doom and gloom” has descended on the club.

And he is keen to raise his players’ spirits.

“Somebody has to be in good spirits here,” he said. “There’s a doom and gloom around the place at the minute and it’s my responsibility to lift everybody.

“We’re going through a difficult period and I have to try and manage everybody through, keep them believing, focused and pro-active.

“We all know that when we’re at our best, we can beat anybody.”

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