West Ham boss: We must focus on ourselves only
09:29 27 April 2012
Hammers boss insists his players will be concentrating on their task in hand
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has insisted that his players will only be focusing on their jobs and not on matters elsewhere on the final day of the Championship season.
The Hammers entertain Hull City tomorrow lunchtime knowing that they must win 3-0 and hope that Southampton slip-up at home to already-relegated Coventry City to stand any chance of clinching the final automatic promotion spot.
And the 57-year-old Upton Park chief is drawing inspiration from Tuesday night’s Champions League action to prove that anything can happen in football.
“It is a slim chance for us, I think that most of the pressure lies with Southampton now,” he said.
“They have got more to lose than we have because our chances are slim.
“We have to rely on Coventry doing us a big favour at St Mary’s which is difficult, but you never know.
“I mean Chelsea were 2-0 down with 10 men against Barcelona, I don’t think anyone would have bet on them getting through and they did.
“Anything can happen under the pressures of a final game of the season, when there are twists and turns along the way.
“If they are in our favour then we have to be in the position to take advantage of it.
“Winning is all that is about for us – 3-0 or more – which is a big ask.
“It’s up to the players to only focus on beating Hull City.
“We will handle it as maturely and as professionally as we did against Leicester and produce that type of performance.”
Coventry make the trip to St Mary’s on the back of two straight defeats and without a win in their last give games, as well as only recording just one victory away from home all season.
However, Allardyce feels that the Sky Blues could enjoy playing with the freedom of knowing that they are already relegated and surprise the Saints.
“Everyone will look at Coventry’s away record and see that it hasn’t been that great, so a win is unlikely,” he said.
“I think if we are going to get a result from Coventry a draw is as much as we can ask for.
“Anything better than a draw from Coventry would be a fantastic result for us.
“A really good result would be a draw. A miraculous result would be a victory.”
With both the games at St Mary’s and Upton Park kicking off at 12.30pm, Allardyce revealed that he will be kept up to date with what is happening on the south coast, but believes the fans will also play their part in letting him know the current state of affairs.
“I will have someone with a direct line, but with the technology we have today I am sure that the crowd will know before me,” he said.
“We will get a lot of encouragement from the crowd, but if Southampton get in front, I imagine Upton Park will go quiet naturally.
“If we get the right roar, we will know what the score is before I get the message, but focusing on ourselves, we will have to try and emulate the type of start we had against Brighton to give ourselves a fighting chance and that is all we can do.”