| 14°C Dublin

Allardyce 'grateful' for support from owners

Sam Allardyce has revealed he is in constant contact with West Ham's owners but it is transfer targets and not his own future as manager that is the reason for the communication.

The Hammers go into their FA Cup third-round clash with Nottingham Forest tomorrow sitting 19th in the Premier League after losing 2-1 at Fulham on New Year's Day.

Allardyce has seen his squad decimated by injuries in the past couple of months, with the lack of depth a major factor in the club only picking up two league points throughout the whole of December.

And the 59-year-old, who is the only boss of a side currently in the bottom six who was in charge at the start of the season, is more bothered about bringing in new faces rather than worrying about joining the growing list of out-of-work managers.

"What happens is internal with those people as far as I'm concerned, not what happens publicly," he said when asked if he had spoken to the owners following the Fulham loss.

"If it was a crisis position we are in they would come and sack me. The position we are in is that we are talking about bringing new players in to the football club and overcome the injuries we have got.


"In terms of support ... at the moment it is about positive action to try and help get ourselves get out of the situation we are in, which I'm very grateful for."

With Stewart Downing in contention to start and Andy Carroll now fully integrated in to training with the rest of the squad at the club's Chadwell Heath complex, Allardyce's injury worries look to be subsiding.

But he will still be without defensive trio James Collins, Winston Reid and James Tomkins, with Ricardo Vaz Te and Mark Noble also injured and captain Kevin Nolan banned.

With those key players absent, and a League Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City just three days later, Allardyce will turn to his Under-21 players for the trip to the East Midlands tomorrow and he is hoping they will see it as a chance to impress on a bigger stage.

"The younger professionals will be tested," he said.