Allardyce ignores Sunderland rumour

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Published: Thursday 19th March 2015 by The News Editor

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has dismissed reports linking him with the Sunderland job as “pure speculation”.

The 60-year-old emerged as an early favourite to be appointed at the Stadium of Light in the summer after the struggling Black Cats sacked Gus Poyet and installed Dick Advocaat on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

With Sunderland hovering just one point above the Premier League relegation zone, former Rangers manager Advocaat has been tasked with maintaining their top-flight status – and starts with a trip to face West Ham on Saturday evening.

The Hammers themselves have won only once in their last 12 league games and Allardyce’s contract runs out at the end of the current campaign – but he insisted he will not be looking to leave east London any time soon.

“Pure speculation,” Allardyce replied when asked about reports linking him with a summer move to Sunderland.

“I’m West Ham manager and I’m contracted to West Ham and don’t expect anything other than somewhere along the line we’ll be talking about a contract here.”

When asked if he saw himself at West Ham next year, he said: “If that contract is right, yes.”

Poyet’s 18-month reign at Sunderland came to an end following a 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, a result which leaves the club without a Premier League victory since January, and Allardyce fears a backlash from whatever side is named by Advocaat.

“They’ve moved very swiftly for a replacement which is giving them the best possible chance of improving their results,” he said.

“It will be one of those for us that makes the game more difficult with a new manager coming in and the fact they lost 4-0 last week. I think the players of Sunderland will be very hurt by the fact they let their fans down and also be feeling like they’ve let Gus down and they’ll want to do something about it.”

Despite a managerial career spanning nearly 30 years, Advocaat has yet to taste life as a Premier League boss, but Allardyce believes his experience negates any potential surprises to managing in England.

He said: “The experience of Dick Advocaat is one they’re looking to draw on and get something a little more out of the players than Gus managed to do and more importantly to get points on the board.

“When you see the experience of a man who’s managed across the world I wouldn’t have thought there would be too many surprises for him coming and managing in the Premier League.

“There’s a different level of football in this Premier League in terms of its quality and intensity. It’s quicker and better and just as skilful as anywhere else in the world so I think it’s more about him getting used to his players and how best to pick a system with the players he’s got to get a result.”

Published: Thursday 19th March 2015 by The News Editor

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