Allardyce frustrated with Senegal

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Published: Thursday 29th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Sam Allardyce is certain Diafra Sakho will not be banned from turning out for West Ham and has aimed a shot at the Senegalese Football Federation for its handling of Cheikhou Kouyate.

Tensions between the Hammers and Senegal have been strained in recent months and culminated earlier this week when the national coach Alain Giresse questioned why Sakho was fit enough to turn out against Bristol City when he had been ruled out of the African Nations Cup through injury.

The 25-year-old had been struggling with a back problem but came off the bench to score the only goal in West Ham’s FA Cup fourth-round win in Bristol, while Giresse’s side were knocked out of the African tournament with defeat against Algeria on Tuesday.

Sakho received criticism from fans on Twitter and Giresse was bullish when questioned but Allardyce, who revealed after the game at Ashton Gate that the player had travelled by limousine rather than flying with the rest of the squad, has again defended the decision to play his top goalscorer.

“I’m not worried at all he could be facing a ban whatsoever,” he said.

“We’ve stuck to every rule and regulation in the book by the FA, by FIFA and by UEFA. We have not breached any rules and regulations whatsoever and I have to say I’m extremely disappointed by Senegal’s reaction.

“He (Sakho) is coping fine because he has got enough to burn his bridges with, they (Senegal) are falling out with us.

“If anything we should be falling out with them but we are not, we are keeping it at a very professional level, like we always do and like I said we have done everything in the rules to comply with what is happening.”

Allardyce also confirmed Sakho will travel to Anfield in the same manner he made the trip to Bristol, but his compatriot Kouyate may not be available for selection against Liverpool following a late return.

The midfielder had linked up with Senegal but Allardyce and West Ham had struggled to contact the former Anderlecht man and arrange his journey home – with Kouyate now expected back later on Thursday.

“The other player that we had available has been difficult to find over the last 48 hours,” Allardyce continued.

“We know where he is but we have had trouble finding him. If you speak to other managers in the Premier League, if they are honest like I am they will tell you the same story.

“We are expecting him back today after chasing him down for the last 48 hours. He could play against Liverpool.”

The Hammers travel north looking to pick up a Barclays Premier League double over Liverpool having beaten Brendan Rodgers’ side 3-1 earlier in the campaign, with any positive result keeping West Ham ahead of their opponents in the table.

Published: Thursday 29th January 2015 by The News Editor

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