Tough-talking Allardyce vows to lead troubled West Ham to safety

UNDER pressure West Ham manager Sam Allardyce came out fighting yesterday and vowed to turn his team’s season around in the face of growing frustration from supporters.

Those who travelled to Manchester City on Wednesday night vented their anger at the Hammers boss during the 6-0 thrashing, while former captain Julian Dicks said he felt the time had come for a change in the Upton Park dugout.

Allardyce’s team have failed to pick up a Premier League point away from home since October, but can climb out of the relegation zone at the expense of tomorrow’s opponents Cardiff with a victory.

And Allardyce plans to use the current level of adversity in his favour at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We’ve got to get out there, face the music and use it to anger us, make us mad, and win matches,” he said. “The players can’t feel sorry for themselves. We are professionals and we’ve got to take the criticism thrown at us because that’s what happens in the game at this level.

“You either come out fighting or you sink and die. I come out fighting as a manager and my staff and players are the same.”

Allardyce was given a public vote of confidence from co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan following Sunday’s 5-0 FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest and their position is not thought to have changed.

The board sanctioned the loan signing of central defender Roger Johnson earlier this week, while a deal for a striker is imminent with Lacina Traore and Ishak Belfodil on their radar.

But Dicks, who made 326 appearances for the east London club, said yesterday: “The football isn’t good, the lack of passion and pride is awful. I understand where the fans are coming from.”