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Jan 7, 2014

Sam Allardyce grateful for club backing

Sam Allardyce has thanked the West Ham hierarchy for giving him time to turn around the club’s fortunes, after again insisting he is the man to get his team back to winning ways.

• Thorne: Are the odds against Sam Allardyce?

Last Sunday’s 5-0 FA Cup defeat at the hands of Championship club Nottingham Forest represented a new low point for Allardyce, but he is convinced the support being presented by Hammers co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan can provide a platform for a revival.

“I’m obviously pleased by the united front we are trying to keep under these difficult times at the moment,” Allardyce said. “When it comes public from the co-chairmen it is nice to see and hear. From our point of view we all understand the difficult position we are in at the moment.

Premier Fantasy: Play our new game

“We all have to work through it together in the hope that we turn it around into a positive reaction in terms of our results. I wasn’t backed by my last two chairmen and got sacked for no reason at all [Newcastle and Blackburn], but it is different here.

“The day-to-day running of the football club is all I’m focused on. I keep in touch with the owners on a regular basis, it is a daily basis at the moment. I would be more worried if that communication went quiet.”

The sight of a young, tearful West Ham fan being consoled by his parents as he watched the FA Cup loss at Forest was an image used by many to highlight the agonies being endured by Hammers fans and Allardyce and yet he remains convinced the young team he picked for Sunday’s game was justified.

“I have a lot of sympathy for them,” he said of the West Ham fans. “All I can do is say that I was telling everybody weeks before we played Nottingham Forest that the situation we are in means I would be playing some of the young players in the team.

“We had to prioritise and I told people weeks before. It is now done and dusted and is out of the way.”

Allardyce has confirmed that his new signing Roger Johnson will be involved in the Capital One Cup semifinal against Manchester City on Wednesday night, with his delight at securing the experienced Wolves central defender evident.

“The one big thing about Roger is his Premier League experience at Birmingham City,” Allardyce said. “His height, which has been a weak point for us recently, and a desire to come and show he has still got the capabilities of coming to play at this level.

“He is not [Capital One] cup-tied, so going into one of the biggest games of the season for us with someone with his experience against one of the biggest sides in the Premier League is a help.

“If you look across the board at Man City, aerially we have to be very competent and Roger will be a great help in that area particularly. He is very determined and excited about the opportunity he has got after being basically frozen out at Wolves.

“Our other efforts in securing a central defender prior to knowing Roger was available were difficult.”

Meanwhile, there was some positive news for the Hammers as Allardyce confirmed that record signing Andy Carroll has returned to training.

The 16 million pound summer signing has not played for the West Ham this season, but his manager hopes to have the striker available "in the next week or so" as he attempts to overcome a long-term foot injury.

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