- Premier League
Allardyce toes the line on 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.
Allardyce had been unconvinced by Morrison's attitude but his publicly-aired doubts about the player's future brought a swift rebuke from co-chairman David Sullivan last week and the manager seems to have changed tack.
"We thought we'd brought Ravel to the forefront of his abilities this time last season," Allardyce told talkSPORT. "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."
Allardyce's position has been the subject of much speculation and Sullivan's stance that the club wanted to tie Morrison to a long-term contract had been at odds with the manager's view.
"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 by scoring a memorable goal in a 3-0 win at rivals Tottenham.
However, 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.