Filed: Monday, 15th October 2012
By: Staff Writer
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has stoked up the pressure ahead of Saturday's Boleyn Ground clash with strugglers Southampton by calling the game "almost a six-pointer".
West Ham, who have enjoyed a solid start to their 2012/13 campaign take on last season's Championship runners-up Southampton, who have endured a rather more difficult start to their season.
Having taken only four points from their opening seven matches, the pressure is on Nigel Adkins' struggling side to produce the goods and take all three points on Saturday.
However Allardyce is keen to impress upon his squad the importance of the fixture, despite a full week's preparation yet to come.
"From our point of view we'd like to beat them on the basis that we have both been promoted and we both know how much of a struggle it is in year one," he told the press this morning.
"It's almost a six-pointer this early in the season. If we win, they'd only have four points and we'd have 14 - and that's a massive gap that they'd have to try and close over the coming games.
"Southampton have not had the best of starts and have been conceding a number of goals - and we've got to try and take advantage of that."
Last season West Ham were forced to play the majority of the corresponding fixture with only ten men after Southampton striker Billy Sharp feigned injury in order to get Matt Taylor sent off. The game finished in a 1-1 draw.
And although he stopped short of saying it, revenge for that particular incident may not be too far from Allardyce's mind.
"They beat us away and then drew with us at Upton Park so they will be thinking that it is a good chance for them to come and get some points," he added. "So we've got to try to stop that."
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