Sunday 18 March 2018

Hammers line up Forest boss Davies as Allardyce replacement

Billy Davies is the shock name in the frame to take over at West Ham
Billy Davies is the shock name in the frame to take over at West Ham

Matt Law

Billy Davies is the shock name in the frame to take over at West Ham if co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold finally bow to growing pressure and sack Sam Allardyce.

Davies was in charge of the Nottingham Forest team who thrashed West Ham 5-0 in the FA Cup last Sunday. Despite public backing from Sullivan and Gold, Allardyce is in desperate need of a positive result against Cardiff City tomorrow after a 6-0 trouncing at Manchester City in the League Cup on Wednesday followed the humiliation at Forest.

West Ham chiefs have considered what they would do if Allardyce cannot turn around the increasingly desperate situation, and Davies is understood to feature high in their contingency plans.

Davies was considered for the Hammers job before Allardyce took over from Avram Grant in 2011 and has continued to impress.

Former West Ham manager Harry Redknapp and Slaven Bilic, who played for the club, would be more popular appointments among fans, but Davies is seen as a more realistic target.

Redknapp is trying to secure promotion back to the Premier League with Queens Park Rangers, while Bilic, who Redknapp signed at West Ham, took over at Besiktas only at the start of this season.

Davies has spent most of his management career in the Championship, with Preston, Derby and Nottingham Forest.

He achieved promotion to the Premier League with Derby, but was sacked after just four months in the top flight. Having spent three years at Forest that ended in the sack for failure in the play-offs, Davies returned to the City Ground last February. He signed a new four-year contract in October and has taken the club to fifth place in the Championship.

As well as the result, the performance of Davies' Forest side last Sunday was particularly impressive as they outpassed their opponents.

If West Ham move for Davies this month, the 49-year-old would look to take goalkeeper Karl Darlow and Henri Lansbury with him. Lansbury spent a season on loan at West Ham before joining Forest.

Sullivan and Gold have been reluctant to pay the £6m it would cost to dismiss Allardyce and his back-room staff, despite receiving advice that they should make a change. Following the semi-final, first-leg humiliation, Sullivan fielded questions from angry fans.

He admitted West Ham cannot afford to be relegated, even though it is understood that would allow the club to sack Allardyce without paying any compensation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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