|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
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Exclusive - Allardyce insists play-off place would be 'fantastic' for West Ham
Sam Allardyce insists West Ham will have had a fantastic season - even if they miss out on automatic promotion.
The Hammers were firm favourites to return to the top-flight, at the first time of asking, after spending heavily both last summer and in the January transfer window.
Sam Allardyce’s side have struggled at home this season, though, and are currently third in the Championship, three points off Southampton.
At the moment we still think we can nick an automatic place if we win all three games— Sam Allardyce
But former Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn boss Allardyce believes his side can cope with not going up automatically and will fight all the way in the play-offs.
“It’s not in our hands anymore,” Allardyce told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “We have to hope that someone slips up. It’s not the end of the world getting into the play-offs though, it will still be a fantastic season.
“In terms of expectations, the object of the exercise was to get up at the first time of asking. At the moment, we still think we can nick an automatic place if we win all three games.
“We still believe someone will slip up, we’ve got to make sure that we win all three [games] and we go from there. Should we not go up automatically, we look at the play-offs and we go into them with great confidence.”
Potential Championship play-off dates for West Ham United confirmed
Sam Allardyce's side are still hoping to avoid the play-offs: Action Images Sam Allardyce's side are still hoping to avoid the play-offs: Action Images
West Ham United have learned when their play-off fixtures will be if they miss out on automatic promotion.
If the Hammers finish third they will be away to the sixth place Championship side on Thursday, May 3 at 7.45pm.
The return leg at Upton Park would take place on Monday, May 7 at 4.30pm.
MANCHESTER CITY have landed Austrian starlet Sinan Bytyqi.
The striker, 17, was wanted by a host of European clubs but has joined City from FC Admira for a nominal fee.
FABIO is set to extend his contract with Manchester United.
But the full-back, 21, twin of United’s Rafael, may be sent on loan to Portuguese side Benfica next season.
SAM ALLARDYCE has told his West Ham side they must be more like Reading — if they want to overtake Southampton.
Hammers are at Bristol City tonight and Allardyce said: “We’ve got to be as clinical as Reading. If we keep that up, we could well win all three games left.”
SOUTHAMPTON can still win the Championship, reckons striker Rickie Lambert.
Reading unseated leaders Saints, who are at Peterborough tonight, with a 3-1 win at St Mary’s on Friday.
But 31-goal Lambert said: “The lads are obviously a bit gutted but we are going to chase Reading on.”
TONY MOWBRAY believes his Middlesbrough side are nearly running on empty as they chase a play-off spot.
Tonight’s home clash with Doncaster will be Boro’s 50th game this term.
And boss Mowbray said: “Sometimes it feels like a slog. Maintaining freshness is the difficulty.
BLACKPOOL defender Ian Evatt says revenge-seeking Leeds could scupper his play-off dream.
Fifth-placed Seasiders face Neil Warnock’s men tonight after thrashing the Yorkshire club 5-0 at Elland Road in November.
Evatt, 30, said: “They will want to get their own back.”
MARKO FUTACS believes crisis club Portsmouth can win their last three games and escape relegation.
The Hungarian grabbed Pompey’s late winner at Doncaster and is ready for Crystal Palace’s visit tonight.
He said: “We believe we can do it. I think we can win all our matches.”
SWINDON boss Paolo di Canio is expected back for tonight’s clash at Aldershot after returning to Italy following his mother’s death.
Robins need a point for promotion to League One and chairman Jeremy Wray said: “I said to take as long as he needs but I’d bet my last pound he is back.”
Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill is planning a swoop for Wolves striker Steven Fletcher, who is set to move on if the Molineux club are relegated. The Scotland striker cost £7m from Burnley in 2010.
Inter Milan want to sign Arsenal target Yann M'Vila as they prepare to lure Laurent Blanc into becoming their new manager this summer. The Rennes midfielder, 21, is expected to play a key role for Blanc's French side at Euro 2012 but Arsenal remain favourites to sign M'Vila, who they tried to buy last summer.
Colombian striker Jackson Martinez claims he is currently attracting interest from both Liverpool and Porto. The 25-year-old, who has scored 17 goals in 31 league appearances this season, plays his club football for Mexican side Jaguares but he has been tipped to make a move to Europe this summer.
Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller is expected to leave the club on a free transfer this summer after growing frustrated at his lack of first-team action. Wigan, plus Championship sides Cardiff and Ipswich, are all interested.
Spurs are keen to have talks with Brendan Rodgers
Spurs plan to move for Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers if the Football Association makes an approach to make Harry Redknapp the next England manager.
Blackburn will hold talks with defender Gael Givet this week to determine if he can play for the club again. Givet was withdrawn from Saturday's game at Swansea after being named in the starting line-up with sources close to the player insisting it was because of a row with Steve Kean at the team hotel.
Former Bolton legend Gudni Bergsson has told the current Bolton squad not to panic as they enter the closing weeks of the season still hoping to avoid relegation.
Spurs midfielder Scott Parker says the club will have "failed" if they don't make fourth in the Premier League after they were beaten in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
babe of the day
http://pbff.playboygirls.com/pic00113/p ... 87JP_9.jpg
Thanks CH ...
Cheers CH (as always)
Cheers big ears..
I'll have some of that BotD per favor.......
Cheers CH, as always.
RIP Paolo's mum.
Hear Hear, not that long lost his father too. Condolences Paolo.
Sorry for PDC, he showed real heart at the weekend.
On a lighter note... how do you pronounce Bytyqi ??
Thanks again CH.
BoTD - cracker today for sure!
Bee-tee-chi. Kid is Albanian, born in Serbia, playing for Austria.
Good man Red Star..
and soon to be plying his trade in Manchester it would seem.
Cheers CH you gem
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