Big Sam defends big signing

  • by Staff Writer
  • Thursday, 28th August 2014

New arrival Enner Valencia should be given time to settle, argued Sam Allardyce today following criticism of his new striker following Tuesday night's Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield United.

A small section of fans took to various forms of social media in the hours following the match to pan the Ecuador international, who missed a gilt-edged opportunity to seal a win in normal time before missing the penalty that ultimately resulted in United's exit from the competition.

Unsurprisingly perhaps Allardyce was scathing of those who had chosen to judge the 24-year-old forward after just one full appearance, insisting that given time to settle he will provide a valuable asset to the club.

"The trouble with football is that people expect players to come in straight away," he said. "His first full game since the World Cup was on Tuesday, and if he had been playing his first game in pre-season, we'd have given him 45 minutes.

"We had to play him for 120 minutes because of the circumstances - he got through it exceptionally well, but he has a long way to go still to catch his match fitness up.

"We give the players six weeks in pre-season to get themselves ready, but when a new player comes in everybody expects him to be ready in ten days or two weeks. It's mind-boggling to me how people keep asking about him and keep saying why is he not playing.

"I've heard that for the last ten, twelve years, but I know it's my job to make sure he is 100 per cent fit to be ready to go on a regular basis and, once he does that, we hope he proves himself as soon as he possibly can to show the goalscoring ability we know he's got."

Allardyce was speaking to the press ahead of this weekend's visit of Southampton. To read his entire pre-match press conference, visit whufc.com.

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