December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Nick Wright
Monday, September 23, 2013
Sam Allardyce is planning to rotate his side for West Ham’s Capital One Cup clash against Cardiff but has ruled out Joe Cole and Stewart Downing and says Mladen Petric is not certain to start.
The Hammers will be hoping to put the disappointment of Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Everton behind them when Malky Mackay’s side visit Upton Park on Tuesday night.
Allardyce rotated his entire starting line-up when West Ham beat Cheltenham 2-1 in the previous round of the cup last month, but the 58-year-old admits injured duo Cole and Downing won’t be among the changes against Cardiff.
“We will make some changes,” he said. “But [Cole and Downing] won’t feature in this game.
“I would have loved the match to be next week rather than this week as they both would have played.
“They won’t be involved on Tuesday because both of them are only due back in training with the other players on Monday and this game has come too early for them.
“It will be a hugely competitive match because there will be a lot of players out there who will be trying to convince both myself and Malky [Mackay, Cardiff manager] that they should be playing in the first team on a more regular basis.”
New signing Petric came off the bench to make his West Ham debut in the defeat to Everton, but Allardyce insists the Croatian still needs time to reach full fitness.
“I don’t think a start because we’re talking about a player who’s only had half-an-hour in a highly competitive game in the Barclays Premier League,” said Allardyce.
“The physicality is greater than anywhere else in the world and he’s only in week two of his pre-season.
“Normally he would be playing 45 minutes against Cork City but instead he’s had 30 minutes against Everton so he’s feeling the stresses and strains of that.
“We have to be careful because we don’t want him to get injured, but he will be in the squad.”
West Ham eased to a 2-0 win over newly-promoted Cardiff on the first day of the season, but Allardyce is expecting a tougher test this time around.
“I think that Malky and his staff do a really good job in terms of playing to their strengths and organising the team,” he said.
“He’s learnt over his time at Watford and now at Cardiff that his job is about results and using his squad to the best of their ability.
“When we played them at our place, him, his team and his players have adjusted very quickly to life in the Premier League.
“We won that game comfortably on the day but since then they’ve reorganised themselves and had some fantastic results.
“Malky’s done a great job, his team are well organised and they know what’s expected of them.
“We had a tough match against Cheltenham in the last round and I’m expecting another tough game against Cardiff.”
Provisional squad: Jaaskelainen, Adrian, Demel, Rat, O’Brien, Collins, Tomkins, Reid, Nolan, Diame, Collison, Lee, Morrison, Jarvis, Taylor, Vaz Te, Maiga, Petric, McCartney.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce believes that Arsenal have the ability to win the league this season.