Allardyce rows in behind board's faith in Morrison

SAM ALLARDYCE appears to have fallen into line with the West Ham board over the future of Ravel Morrison - if the midfielder works hard enough.

The 21-year-old looked to be set for a season on the fringes of the Hammers' first-team with Allardyce unconvinced by the attitude of the former Manchester United youngster.

But co-chairman David Sullivan publicly disagreed with Allardyce, insisting the club were keen to tie Morrison down to a long-term contract.

"Sam has said Ravel is not part of his plans but we do - as a board - see him as part of our plans,'' Sullivan said last week. "I think he (Allardyce) said in a press conference, if I read it correctly, he's not part of his plans for this season. I think he said that in New Zealand but we don't agree with that. We would like to sit down and give him a longer contract.

"We do see him as part of the long-term future of the club but we have to agree it with the manager because there's no point signing a player he's not going to play.''

Having broken into the first-team at the start of last season, Morrison's star seemed to be on the rise as he endeared himself to West Ham fans after scoring a memorable goal in a 3-0 win at rivals Tottenham.

But his form waned following a niggling groin injury, which has now been treated with a minor operation, and he ended the season on loan at QPR with his future at Upton Park in question.

But now Allardyce, who saw Enner Valencia become his fifth summer signing after being granted a work permit on Tuesday, has backed the England Under-21 international to come good again.

"We thought we'd brought Ravel to the forefront of his abilities this time last season," he said.

"He had a fantastic pre-season and started the season very well.
That drifted away a bit and he ended up at QPR, helping them get promoted.

"If he gets back to knuckling down, and getting used to the discipline side of the game, then his talents are outstanding."