Soccer

West Ham co-chairmen give backing to manager Allardyce

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The Canadian Press
1/6/2014 9:39:01 AM
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West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will not be joining the growing list of coaches to lose their jobs in the Premier League -- for the time being, at least.

The club's co-chairmen published an open letter on West Ham's website on Monday, expressing their confidence that Allardyce is the man to save the team from relegation from the Premier League.

West Ham is currently next-to-last in the league after more than half the campaign, and the pressure grew on Allardyce following an embarrassing 5-0 loss to second-tier club Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

However, David Sullivan and David Gold said in their letter that Allardyce "has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League club."

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

Of the current bottom five teams in the Premier League, only West Ham hasn't changed managers so far this season. A total of six managers in the top division have been fired or have resigned since September.

Allardyce's squad is beset by injury, with leading striker Andy Carroll yet to play this season. West Ham's squad and style of play is built around Carroll, who joined from Liverpool for 15.5 million pounds (then $24.25 million) in June after a successful loan spell last season.

Allardyce is also currently without a fit centre back and was forced to field a team full of reserves and youth-team players at Forest. He has only 14 fit and available senior players for Wednesday's League Cup semifinal match against Manchester City.

"Like all West Ham supporters, we feel frustrated and hurt by our recent results," Sullivan and Gold said in the letter.

"We are under no illusions as to the seriousness of the predicament in the Premier League," they continued. "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 this situation."

West Ham is scheduled to move into the Olympic Stadium from 2016 after agreeing on a 99-year lease to rent the revamped 486 million pound ($781 million) venue.

The 80,000-seat stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field competition at the 2012 London Games, will be downsized to 54,000 seats and reconfigured with a new roof and retractable seats.

West Ham will be desperate to usher in the new era with Premier League football.

Sam Allardyce (Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images )

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(Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images )
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