Hatters boss and Hammers fan Still backs Allardyce

Dedicated West Ham United supporter John Still has backed Hammers boss Sam Allardyce to help pull the club’s socks back up, writes Mark Wood.

West Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce (right) and Swansea City's manager Michael Laudrup shake hands before the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 25, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
West Ham United's manager Sam Allardyce (right) and Swansea City's manager Michael Laudrup shake hands before the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 25, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

The East End club are currently in the middle of a defensive crisis having suffered successive 6-0 and 5-0 drubbings to Manchester City and Nottingham Forest respectively.

But Luton chief Still backed the under-fire Hammers boss, saying: “Sometimes it is as simple as this, if you’ve got no socks you can’t pull them up.

“And West Ham have no socks at the minute. Everyone’s injured that used to play and when he gets the socks he’ll pull them up and West Ham will look like a team capable of winning football matches and surviving at the Premier League level, that’s what I believe.

“I’m still a West Ham supporter and I’m still a Dagenham supporter and I want both clubs to do well but I understand what football is like.

“Sometimes things are out of your control for a variety of reasons. If you haven’t got any centre-halves you can’t play any centre-halves and West Ham have really suffered there with Reid, that’s a blow, he’s a good player, Tomkins, he’s a good player, and Collins, they’re good players at that level and when they’re not playing they’re not going to be as strong.”

But Still admitted he had found it difficult to get over their latest thrashing at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.

He joked: “It’s a bit harsh. Why bring that up? We’ve only just got over it this morning!

“West Ham are having a difficult time at the moment, but I think I’m a proper West Ham supporter that accepts the highs and the lows that clubs like West Ham are going to get.

“And it’s not exclusive to West Ham because Manchester United are suffering highs and lows and sometimes it happens.

“I think if you look at West Ham and everyone was fit and available and going well, that I think they would be in the position that they would like to be in, which would well away from there.

“But they’re a club with no central defenders fit, that’s not the manager’s fault. And it’s really difficult for them at the moment.

“He played a team in the FA Cup that he felt he had to play. And last night he played the best team available and with the greatest of respect, Manchester City, I don’t think people always understand, beat Manchester United last year 6-0.

“So it’s not an exclusive club, they’ve beaten lots of teams and they are capable of doing that.”

And Still again backed Allardyce to turn it around with the litmus test being how they fare against teams who people think they should get something against.

He added: “I think the measure of West Ham’s season will be against the teams where people will think maybe they should get points.

“And as they get players back, I’m very confident that they will.

“I think Sam Allardyce is a terrific manager, I think if he wasn’t West Ham’s manager people would be trying to get him in if they were the position that they’re in.”