Filed: Sunday, 20th May 2012
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce is a Premier League manager once again after leading his team back to the top flight yesterday courtesy of the 2-1 win over Blackpool.
Allardyce - who was spotted singing along to 'Bubbles' in the post-match celebrations - had plenty to say after the game...
"Itís up there with the best moments of my career. It's probably better than the Millennium Stadium victory with Bolton against Preston because itís West Ham United. With the size of the club and the pressure we were under and to win - and because it's at Wembley - makes it extra special.
"It's bigger than anything else. Other games played here are Cup competitions but this is everything. It's the first time I have come here and won - not that I've been here very often!"
.... The winning goal - and the goalscorer
"David Sullivan had been pressing me, saying, "Why donít we ever win a game in the final minutes?" Well, now we have done.
"Vaz Te? What a signing. The goals he has scored are probably the reason why I'm sat here and we're back in the Premier League. He must be one of my best signings - and I've signed some good players in my time."
... Ensuing celebrations
"We will relax and enjoy this ó and not think about whatís ahead just yet. You have to make sure that this sinks in. This is a memory for life, for everyone concerned with West Ham, and we will enjoy it.
"You want to go up automatically but if you don't and you win the Final then it's a memory for everyone for years to come. The delight you get out of winning at a venue like this; the trophy, the medals, the celebrations; it's an outstanding achievement."
... The season as a whole
"I had been in the Premier League for 10 years and I wanted to come and experience a successful season. It was difficult at the start to turn the club around, because of the relegation we experienced, but we did it. We came good right at the very end.
"Overall, weíve lost only eight out of 49 Championship games. In 2012 we have lost one game out of 21 matches. Now if you cannot celebrate that as a good season, I don't know what you can celebrate.
"Itís been a thrilling season and the players have been outstanding, based on where we started and where we ended up. Itís just an outstanding achievement, because itís bigger than anything else, any Cup Final. Itís over 11 months and we have done it."
... Answering his critics
"I was considered to be at the top of my industry when I was at Bolton. They were fifth when I left and having suffered two sackings, which were harsh, to say the least, it damaged my reputation and people didn't consider me to be as good as I was. But I'm still achieving great things at a great football club."
... Had Blackpool won
"It would have been devastating - according to the owners we would have had to decimate the wage bill by £10m, off-load players for little or no fee and still achieve what the fans want."
... Next season
"The task now is keeping West Ham in the Premier League. At Bolton we did that from virtually nothing; what we have got to provide is sustainable, steady growth at West Ham next season."
... The supporters
"You get criticised everywhere in this game. It is only a small minority but they make themselves heard. I know the vast majority of West Ham fans have been behind us all season because we have been winning games.
"My job is about thrilling fans and giving them what they want, entertaining them at a great venue with a great victory and a great end to the season. Now we can look forward to playing at places like Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and QPR in London as well as trips to Old Trafford and Anfield."
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