Sport Soccer

Friday 22 August 2014

Allardyce wants time to build

Published 23/09/2013 | 16:51

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Sam Allardyce believes clubs are too hasty in sacking managers

Sam Allardyce is proud of his record as West Ham manager as he prepares to take charge of the club for the 100th time.

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The former Bolton and Blackburn boss reaches his century of Hammers games as Cardiff visit Upton Park in the third round of the Capital One Cup this week.

Allardyce has endured a difficult start to the new campaign, with his team having not won in the Barclays Premier League since their season-opening defeat of the Bluebirds, but he is pleased with his overall achievements.

The 58-year-old guided the club to promotion to the top flight in his first season and followed up with a 10th-placed finish. Now he wants the time to build on that.

Allardyce said: "Obviously I'm very pleased with the record we had in the Barclays Premier League last year and the year before we were expected to do well in the Championship.

"If you look at the stats for how many teams are promoted the season after they were relegated you'll find that there are very few, around 20 per cent who actually manage it.

"We've done everything that we said we would do, not just me and the backroom staff, but also the chairman and the vice-chairman and everyone else behind the scenes.

"We set out with the plan to get promoted in the first year, we did that.

"The second year we planned to stay up and in the end we surpassed expectations and finished 10th.

"Now we've got to bring a sustainable balance to the squad which is going to keep us in the Premier League for many, many years.

"We need to grow slowly. It's probably unacceptable in today's football but we have to convince everybody that growing slowly is the right way.

"It sustains the ability to get better and better and when you do that you are then able to achieve more and you can start looking at bigger things."

Allardyce, who has also managed at Blackpool, Notts County and Newcastle, feels it is sad that managing a club for 100 games has now become a celebrated achievement.

Already this season there has been a Premier League casualty, with former Hammers star Paolo Di Canio parting company with Sunderland after just six months at the helm.

Allardyce said: "If it's 300 games or 400 games, fine, but 100 games should be more commonplace than it is.

"The constant change of managers which we're now faced with has turned reaching 100 games into a bit of an achievement.

"For me, that's pretty disappointing that in our professional leagues we change managers so much."

Results have not been good of late for West Ham, who have just five points from five games, but Allardyce can point to a positive performance in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Everton.

The Hammers led twice only to be pegged back by two Leighton Baines free-kicks and then concede a late winner to Romelu Lukaku in a game in which they had midfielder Mark Noble sent off.

They could also draw encouragement for their midweek clash from the fact Cardiff are one of only two sides they have beaten this season, the other being Cheltenham in the previous round.

Malky Mackay's side, however, have proved tough to beat since their 2-0 loss at the Boleyn Ground. They have a similar record to West Ham but scored a notable victory over Manchester City and were beaten only in injury by Tottenham at the weekend.

Looking back to that first meeting in August, Allardyce, speaking at his pre-match press conference, said: "We won that game comfortably on the day but since then they've reorganised themselves and had some fantastic results.

"Malky's done a great job, his team are well organised and they know what's expected of them.

"We had a tough match against Cheltenham in the last round and I'm expecting another tough game against Cardiff."

Allardyce said he planned to make changes but Croatian striker Mladen Petric, who made his debut off the bench against Everton, was not yet ready to start after recent fitness problems.

Press Association

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