West Ham’s Sam is on cloud nine
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is looking for a nine-point week as West Ham go into Saturday’s home clash with Burnley
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is looking to complete a perfect week on Saturday by making it nine points out of nine with victory over Burnley at Upton Park.
The happy Hammers followed up last weekend’s 3-1 win over Derby County with a clinical 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough on Tuesday night and now he is hoping to make it three out of three.
“The win against Middlesbrough sets us up nicely for the weekend,” said a delighted Allardyce following their fully deserved victory at the Riverside, where Boro had been unbeaten in their last 16 games.
“It could be a nine-point week for us now, as long as we don’t slip up against Burnley.”
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The manager is certainly not taking Saturday’s game for granted though, after the Clarets won their last two fixtures.
“I’ve been warning the lads that Burnley have, all of a sudden, sparked into form with two very good results,” he said.
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“Coming back from 2-0 down at Hull City is no mean feat. We had a tough, tough job to win there, and they came back from 2-0 down.
“Against Ipswich on Tuesday they won 4-0 so they will be on top of their game.”
Allardyce also warned of the potential problem of two former players returning to Upton Park on Saturday.
“There are a couple of players that I sold to them – in Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines – that will want to prove me wrong when they come back, so I will be telling the lads to make sure that they don’t.”
Allardyce must be confident that the Hammers will grab another three points on Saturday, and they are likely to have striker John Carew back and fit after he missed the trip to the Riverside.
“Sam Baldock will be out for about three weeks,” confirmed the manager. “But John Carew has only tweaked his knee and I expect him to be back at the weekend.
“Freddie Piquionne and Carlton Cole came up with the goods against Boro and both have played their parts – particularly Freddie, so all around the team we are outstanding.”
The manager seems to have a wealth of riches in his squad at the moment with Matt Taylor and Guy Demel both starting on Tuesday night, while Joey O’Brien and Jack Collison were on the bench.
The only other doubt is centre back James Tomkins who left the ground hobbling at Middlesbrough after injuring his foot, but Allardyce is hopeful that he will recover too.
Everything seems to be coming together for the Hammers as they continue their pursuit of leaders Southampton.
“We are a very happy bunch at the minute,” said the boss. “We will all just keep our feet on the ground. We are enjoying our training and enjoying our time together,” he concluded.