Allardyce handed double boost by hopeful Hammers’ hierarchy

THE West Ham board moved to alleviate growing pressure on boss Sam Allardyce yesterday by issuing a public vote of confidence and vowing to back their manager in the transfer market.

The Hammers are three points adrift of Premier League safety having won just once in 13 matches and were dumped out of the FA Cup 5-0 by second tier Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

But it appears co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan remain convinced that Allardyce is the man to revive their fortunes.

“We know Sam has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League club,” read an open letter to fans.

“We are under no illusions as to the seriousness of our current predicament in the Premier League. But on the board we have a combined talent of running football clubs and we will draw on all of our nous to get West Ham United out of his situation.”

Defender Roger Johnson arrived on loan from Wolves yesterday and is expected to feature in tomorrow’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Manchester City.

The Hammers have also made the recruitment of a striker among their top priorities, with Ivorian Lacina Traore one of a number of targets. However, the 6ft 8in striker would require a work permit which could delay a loan deal for the man signed by Monaco from Anzhi Makhachkala at the weekend.

Meanwhile, the club have successfully tracked down a young supporter pictured crying on TV during the FA Cup humbling at the City Ground. He and his family will attend a future match in the directors’ box at Upton Park.