West Ham Sam’s in a state about losing number eight

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is worried that the team are already losing too many games if they want to secure automatic promotion

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes his team can only afford to lose three more games this season if they want to secure automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

The Hammers manager was left stunned by his side’s 3-0 capitulation at Reading on Saturday – their fifth of the campaign – and he believes that they cannot allow themselves to lose many more.

“We are second at the moment, but at this stage of the season to stay there and to keep going where you want to go, you don’t want to lose two games on the trot,” said Allardyce as the Hammers defeat on Saturday followed on from a 2-1 loss at home to Burnley.

“We have lost five now and this is closer and closer towards the eight for the season.

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“If we get past eight, it is more and more difficult to get automatic promotion.”

Allardyce is certainly right in what he is saying if you look at the last two seasons.

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QPR and Norwich City lost six and eight respectively, while in 2009/10 Newcastle were beaten just four times on the way to the title, with West Brom suffering seven defeats as they finished as runners-up.

However, if you look further back it does not back up his claim, with all bar one of the promoted clubs from the previous three seasons losing more than eight – 2007 champions Sunderland actually lost 12!

Allardyce is a worried man at the moment though with injuries and now suspensions hitting his Championship campaign.

Guy Demel was the latest injury victim as he was stretchered off after just four minutes at the Madejski Stadium.

“It is a thigh injury,” confirmed the manager. “We are in serious trouble player-wise unfortunately at this stage, when there is nothing we can do until January.

“Obviously Joey O’Brien and Jack Collison will be missing; Guy Demel will be out; Matt Taylor and Winston Reid are missing; David Bentley’s missing as well.

“So we are struggling to get 11 out, but we will just have to try and cope as best we can until we get one or two back.”

Allardyce will look for a reaction from his team against Barnsley on Saturday, especially after the side missed the chance to go to the top of the table last weekend.

“We tossed it away against Reading and we tossed last week’s away as well,” said the manager. “We are good at not taking the opportunity when it arises.”

The West Ham boss will hope they are more successful this Saturday. With Southampton playing 24 hours later, a win for the Hammers will thrust them to the Championship summit.

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