Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce not worried by change

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is not worried about West Brom appointing a new manager before their New Year's Day clash at Upton Park.

Alan Irvine was sacked late on Monday night and the Baggies are now searching for their fourth head coach in just over a year.

They travel to West Ham on Thursday with Rob Kelly in temporary charge amid reports a new man could be at the helm as former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis continues to be strongly linked with the post.

But Allardyce, whose side will be hoping for a second win against West Brom in a month does not feel Pulis - or any other newly-appointed boss, could make much of a difference in the short space of time before their meeting in east London.

"I don't know how much affect you can have as a manager if you have not worked with a team," he said.

"He could affect things by what he might say before the game but I am sure he will leave it to the lads who are in charge to certainly select the team if that is the case.

"We will wait and see. But it is all about being aware of their abilities but also being sure we are spot on on New Year's Day and there is no hangover from the two defeats we have suffered and we hopefully get back to winning ways. And to do that, we have to hit the kind of form we hit against Arsenal on the 28th.

"I think initially it can be a disadvantage when West Brom players have experienced change. But we have to try and re-establish our home results, not our form. It was our first home game we had lost in seven and I don't think we deserved to lose it.

"I watched the Man City game and I saw the amount of chances West Brom actually missed against Man City. I think that when we played them at their place, it was a really tough 2-1 victory for us.

"One that we had to be very resilient to try and get so I think we have to be very careful on New Year's Day about how we approach the game."

With Neil Warnock losing his job at Palace before Irvine's dismissal from West Brom, clubs struggling towards to foot of the Premier League are starting to change the man in charge, something Allardyce believes is bought on by the looming January transfer window.

"Not an awful lot surprises me today," he said when asked about the first top-flight managerial casualties of the campaign.

"I think the game is results-driven and if you don't get results, then clubs change managers now more regularly than they did before. When it comes up to a transfer window as well, it looks like it has a major affect on owners.

"The manager may have proposed some players to bring in during the window and they may have taken the opinion that they would rather give that opp to a new manager. It seems that might be the case."

Allardyce is likely to look to do some business in January to continue West Ham's fine first half of the season - but one player destined to be leaving the club in summer recruit Mauro Zarate.

The 27-year-old has made just eight first-team appearances - with his last start coming in the win at West Brom on December 2 - and Allardyce has confirmed he will undergo a medical at QPR on Tuesday ahead of a proposed loan move.

Zarate has voiced his displeasure at playing such an insignificant role in West Ham's season and is now expected to join Harry Redknapp's side when the winter transfer window opens.

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