Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce: No sympathy for Rovers

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce shed no tears when he saw his former club Blackburn relegated last season.

Allardyce was surprisingly sacked by Rovers owners Venky's in December 2010 and while he was leading his new club back into the Barclays Premier League last season, the Lancashire side were heading in the opposite direction under Steve Kean. While the relegation of Bolton, another of his former clubs, saddened Allardyce he was unconcerned by the demise of their north-west rivals.

"I have to say there wasn't much feeling when Blackburn were relegated because of the way they treated me," he told the People. "Bolton is a different story because I left them and I only did that because of their lack of ambition. Everyone knows how much the club means to me and always will, so I was saddened by their relegation."

Allardyce's focus now, though, is firmly on the new top-flight season and on building a Hammers squad to compete in the big time.

Liverpool's England forward Andy Carroll is one big name to have been linked with a switch to Upton Park but Allardyce admitted there now seems no prospect of a loan deal for a player he is convinced could have ensured United's survival.

"I would probably have stuck my neck out and said we would almost certainly stay up with him on board," he said. "We wouldn't have thought we would have had any chance of signing a player of Andy Carroll's capabilities but it became clear a couple of weeks ago there was a possibility of a loan. Unfortunately at this moment, it's not the case."

West Ham remain at the centre of discussions over the future of London's Olympic Stadium once the Games are over. The Stratford venue was the scene of British triumph on Saturday night, with gold medals for heptathlete Jessica Ennis, long jumper Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres in less than an hour.

And Allardyce dreams of one day leading his team out in a similar atmosphere.

"It would be a dream to think I could lead West Ham out into that stadium at Stratford," he said. "I understand the fans have a history with Upton Park but Stratford would be a really significant step forward.

"I have no idea what stage the process is at for the club to acquire the stadium but if we did get the go-ahead it would be a fantastic bonus for West Ham."

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