Filed: Tuesday, 18th October 2011
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce has set his team the task of maintaining their unbeaten record away from home when they face current table-toppers Southampton at St Mary's tonight.
The Hammers boss faces the footballing equivalent of unstoppable force vs. immovable object this evening when his United team - with three wins and two draws away from home thus far - come up against a Saints side with five wins out of five at home this season.
And with something having to give, Allardyce has urged his players to ensure that, at the very least, they maintain their unbeaten record against a side who were playing in League One this time last year.
"Southampton is a different scenario to Saturday," he said, "but for me it is about the players being determined enough to make sure we stay unbeaten away from home. That will be our goal going into the game.
"At the very least, when we finish that game, let's make sure we still have our precious unbeaten record. We want to hang on to that. Let's see how long we can go in terms of not getting defeated.
"That will make other teams fear us even more when we go away - and it will grow our confidence away from home to continue that kind of run."
Allardyce, who is expected to field Henri Lansbury and Joey O'Brien toight - neither of whom were present in Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Blackpool - is set to revert to his favoured 4-3-3 formation for tonight's encounter. That could mean Sam Baldock, who was voted Man of the Match on Saturday misses out.
Also likely to miss out are James Tomkins and Matt Taylor, both of whom sustained knocks during the game against the Tangerines.
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