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McNicholas: Arsenal's ex factor

Ex Files about an hour ago
Read
Nov 9, 2013

Sam Allardyce accepts job pressure

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will be much safer in his job if his side can beat West Ham on Saturday, according to Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, who admits the pressure will instead be transferred on to his own shoulders.

Sam Allardyce barks instructions to his West Ham team.
Allardyce believes the Norwich clash could decide his future.

The two teams meet at Carrow Road on Saturday evening with the Canaries languishing in the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League.

Thorne: Reid injury adds to woes

Hughton has been on the receiving end of some disgruntled supporters' chanting and last weekend's 7-0 capitulation at Manchester City will have done the former Birmingham boss no favours.

But Allardyce is acutely aware how quickly things can change in top-flight football and believes victory for Norwich, which would see them leapfrog the Hammers, would spell danger for his own position at Upton Park.

"If Norwich beat us on Saturday he is in a much better position than I am and the pressure then comes on me," he said. "I'm not foolish, I know the pressure is on us all. I'm two points off Chris Hughton so it is a massive game for us both.

"I don't want to finish on Saturday and be below Norwich City because then the pressure reverts on to me and it is relieved on Chris Hughton."

Neither side will be able to call upon their respective club-record summer signings with foot injuries keeping Norwich's Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Andy Carroll of West Ham on the sidelines.

Norwich fans would have expected much given their 11th-placed finish last year and their subsequent spending which, as well as Van Wolfswinkel, included deals for Gary Hooper, Leroy Fer and Nathan Redmond.

But it is the number of new faces that Allardyce feels could be the very reason that the Canaries have not hit the ground running this campaign.

"It is like everything else, you bring new players in and time is short for managers," he said. "All of those players don't know each other and they don't know strengths and weaknesses. They have to be molded in to a team that knows how it functions and that takes time.

"In our business when you make too many changes you understand there is a settling in period. When you have paid money for them, the spotlight goes on them more but there is not difference between them and someone who has signed on a free transfer - they still need to adjust and settle in to a new way, a different manager and a different way of working.

"The only way you survive at the end of the day though, whether you have spent money or not, is winning football matches. If you don't win football matches all of these things come to light and put you under pressure."

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