Allardyce hopes for home comfort
Published 21/03/2014 | 16:22
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is keeping focused on the club's home form as he looks to get the Hammers back in the winning routine when Manchester United visit Upton Park on Saturday evening.
Having dragged themselves out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three with four consecutive victories, West Ham have lost their last two fixtures on the road as they succumbed to defeats at Everton and Stoke.
A 3-1 reverse against Allardyce's former club Newcastle in mid-January is the only home league game the Hammers have lost since the turn of the year and, with the Red Devils 12 points off the top four, the 59-year-old wants to continue a decent home run.
"Our efforts at home are what I have been focusing on with the players," he said.
"We have won the last three home games on the trot and we have to try to continue that if we can to overcome the little blip we have suffered following two away games we have taken nothing from.
"The focus is to maintain the home results and try our best to pull off a big win, but if we can't, come away with at least a point."
David Moyes has struggled to follow on from the success of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, with United currently seventh in the table and on the back of a 3-0 defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool last weekend.
However, they will go into the game buoyed by their own 3-0 win over Olympiacos to advance into a Champions League quarter-final clash with holders Bayern Munich, and Allardyce is not taking the challenge lightly.
"Everyone is talking about Manchester United this, Manchester United that," he added.
"But in their last away game they disposed of West Brom fairly easily with a 3-0 victory. David Moyes has so many players to choose from that fatigue won't come into it because he can change the side with top international players if he wants to."
Allardyce has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from on Saturday with only Joey O'Brien and on-loan forward Marco Borriello missing with shoulder and calf injuries respectively.
Robin van Persie will not be available for Manchester United, Moyes has confirmed.
Van Persie was carried off on a stretcher in the dying minutes of United's win over Olympiacos with a knee injury.
United are unsure how long Van Persie will be out for, but the striker will definitely miss out at Upton Park.
"We are getting him re-scanned again on Friday because there was nothing conclusive." the United boss said.
"He won't be available for Saturday's game.
"We will give you an update as soon as we can."
The win over Olympiacos was a welcome relief for Moyes following a difficult fortnight in which his ability to manage the side was brought into question seriously for the first time.
The Red Devils wilted in Athens to hand Olympiacos a two-goal first-leg lead, and then last Sunday United were humbled at home by Liverpool.
That defeat put United on course for their worst ever points total in the Premier League.
Moyes was naturally delighted, therefore, to have lifted his spirits and those of the fans in midweek.
"I think the big thing was I could look at the supporters in the face after the game on Wednesday night because I thought we had given them something to shout about, we had nothing to be ashamed of with our performance," the Scot said.
"In some other games I have felt ashamed because the team haven't played well enough and I've not got a team out which has got a good result.
"Our form hasn't been consistent enough, our performances haven't been consistent enough.
"We've obviously got to get better at that. It's going to take time, we're not going to be able to do everything immediately."