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Allardyce: If anything I have to demotivate my players for the big games

Sam Allardyce's West Ham United side are up against it with the fixtures in front of them this month. Pic:Rob Newell/TGS Photo Sam Allardyce's West Ham United side are up against it with the fixtures in front of them this month. Pic:Rob Newell/TGS Photo

Saturday, November 3, 2012
7:00 AM

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed that he has to try and demotivate some of his players for games like Manchester City.

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The reigning champions make the trip to Upton Park on Saturday for a keenly anticipated fixture.

And Allardyce knows that it is easier to motivate a side for the Citizens than it is for the likes of Wigan.

He said: “These are easier games to say to the players, look you know, if I have to do anything I have to demotivate them because they’re so hyper for it, they’re so up for it, they’re so ready for it and they so want to prove themselves against a team like Manchester City these days.

“You know, Manchester City have to live with that. They’ve won the Premier League for the first time, for a long, long, time. That expectation level grows.”

However, that is not the same for Allardyce, who is used to managing sides against the big clubs.

“Not these days,” he explained. “I’ve been doing this job for a long, long time now so, you know, I’ve got a lot of experience in the Premier League.

“That, for me, is like everybody else. You’re hugely satisfied if you get a result, no doubt about that.”

There has been some unrest in the Eastlands camp over recent weeks with manager Roberto Mancini criticising Joe Hart for chastising the defence in the 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid and the Hammers boss insists it is normal at each club.

“It happens everywhere,” Allardyce explained. “It’ll happen here, somebody here will come into the dressing room today and say “I should be playing; I don’t know why he’s not picked me.”

The Hammers boss added: “It happens everywhere you go, some players sometimes speak out about it which they shouldn’t, they should keep it as an internal matter but that’s the way it is today if they don’t talk about it, they’ll talk to their agents about it and their agents will speak about it.

“So we have to deal with it and just see fit as each individual situation pops up, deal with it and move on.”

Allardyce is hopeful that his side will be able to take advantage of the dissent in the camp but is aware of the quality Mancini’s side possesses.

“We’ll have to wait and see on Saturday, let’s hope it is when we come off and we’ve got a result I’ll be very encouraged by it then,” he stated.

“If we haven’t then like I said, I can’t be too worried about what’s happening behind the scenes at Manchester City.

“I just know I’ve got to set the team out against the quality of their squad to try and make sure we can deal with that and on as many occasions as we can we can test the back four if we get the opportunities to do that, with the sort of quality that’s needed to beat a defence like that and of course and one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”

Allardyce had hinted that expectation leads to struggles but could not put his finger on whether it was the root of the reigning champions’ early problems.

“I don’t know [if it is the source],” he said. “They say it’s even harder to win it the next time around.

“I think that’s probably one of the difficulties you may come across. It was a huge, huge effort last year to actually win it but, you know, they’re the scalp now.

“They are the champions and everybody wants to knock them off their perch, if you like, so it’s even harder again.

“Perhaps they’ve got to live with that and they deserve to live with that by the way they won it last year.”

There had been speculation that Mancini was under pressure but Allardyce believes that the Southampton and Reading managers are feeling the heat more.

“I think that Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott are under more pressure than Roberto Mancini,” he said.

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