• Premier League

West Ham co-owners back manager Allardyce

ESPN staff
January 6, 2014
What happened to West Ham?

West Ham United co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold have published an open letter backing manager Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce has seen his position come under scrutiny after the Hammers won just one of their last 13 Premier League games, and Sunday's 5-0 FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest has left him under further pressure.

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The manager acknowledged after that match that his position may be under threat, but Sullivan and Gold have used a letter on the club's official website to show their support for him.

"We know Sam has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League club," the open letter read. "Sam has been handed a near impossible task of coming through three crucial games in the space of six days with a squad of only 14 fit and available senior players.

"We have experienced difficult times before and we know what will get us results - hard work, determination and perseverance. To that end, we are all working round the clock to do everything in our powers to help arrest our slump in form."

Injuries have been a significant factor in the club's slide to 19th in the Premier League, with Andy Carroll yet to feature this season while James Tomkins, Winston Reid, James Collins, Mark Noble and Ricardo Vaz Te are also injured and captain Kevin Nolan is currently suspended.

However, it is hoped that several of those players will return soon, and new signings appear to be close.

"Our first priority is to get our key players fit," the letter continued. "Our record signing Andy Carroll continues to make good progress following his return to first-team training and he should be back on the pitch very soon...

"Trust us, Andy Carroll is desperate to play and is ready to do his bit for the team and we are confident that the return of all of our injured players will lead to an upturn in our fortunes.

"Thereafter, our second priority is to bring in the new talent needed to bolster our squad in the most needed areas. January is not an easy time to do business but we are pleased to confirm we are close to securing one of our key striking targets. A defender is high on the list of priorities as well and progress is being made on that front."

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