Filed: Wednesday, 28th March 2012
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce has asked his team to keep the momentum going when they face Reading in the biggest game of the season so far this Saturday.
West Ham's encouraging 2-0 win at Peterborough last night moves United to within a point of the second-placed Royals, who will go into the game with a slight advantage in fitness terms having not played since Saturday.
Allardyce, who saw his team produce one of their best 45 minutes of the season in the second half at London Road last night suffered his heaviest defeat as West Ham manager (at the time) at the Madejski Stadium back in December when West Ham were beaten 3-0.
The Irons ended that game with just nine men after Joey O'Brien and Jack Collison were sent off - the latter following some disgraceful antics from Malian midfielder Jimmy Kebe, who will no doubt be the target of much abuse this weekend should he play.
A win over Reading would take West Ham back into the Championship's automatic promotion spots and just three points behind leaders Southampton, who face a difficult trip to Blackpool later in the day.
And Allardyce has sent a rallying call out to his troops, telling them that they have "a score to settle" following the defeat in the reverse fixture last year.
"We had two sent off and lost 3-0 so we want to make sure we turn it into a big victory on Saturday," Big Sam told whufc.com. "We've got to be up for it like we were against Peterborough in the second half. Then hopefully we'll start winning at home as well as away.
"The only problems we have are the injuries and the fact that we played on Tuesday and they didn't. Energy levels are going to have to be recharged as quickly as possible. Reading are going to come and fight for their lives against us and make it very difficult."
Allardyce is hoping to have the likes of Papa Bouba Diop and Guy Demel back in contention for selection ahead of the big game, although there are fresh concerns over Abdoulaye Faye and Joey O'Brien who were both substituted at half time last night.
"Abdy Faye had to go to hospital with a severe head injury, which we hope is only a severe bruise and not a fractured skull," he confirmed . "Joey also pulled a thigh muscle, so it shows how important it is that we have the players fit and available."
SOCK IT TO HIM, JACK: Kebe's gamesmanship earns Collison his first ever red card
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08:32AM 29th Mar 2012
''Collison got himself sent off by being childish. Sticking up for your mates and showing that you care by crayoning on the opposition's exercise book is not the attitude required for a professional footballer (or any other 'grown ups').
Jack has been playing like a 13-year-old (sorry 13-year-olds) doing too much ball watching and standing still. Maybe that is how it is done in training versus the orange cones, but in real games the opposition deserve a bit more creativity and effort against them before they surrender. Grow up Collison. Everyone else - stop trying to defend him.
Blaming Kebe and anybody else for Jack's immaturity is not doing him any favours. Watch some videos of Stuart Pearce or films of Sir Trevor in action to discover how to be a man and behave on the football pitch. It is not the fault of the officials either!''
by john rippengale
08:27PM 28th Mar 2012
''So the Sullivan, Gold and Brady campagn for the Olympic Stadium continues. You really can't see this working, can you?''
by Robsy (RFC)
01:32PM 28th Mar 2012
''It should be a classic. Kebe is always pulling his socks up - does it all the time - granted usually when the ball is out of play.''