Sam Allardyce – describing links to the Sunderland job as “pure speculation” – is bravely talking up his Hammers future.
“Pure speculation,” was his response when asked before adding: “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.”
On Sunderland’s position he added ahead of Saturday evening’s game he added: “They’ve moved very swiftly for a replacement which is giving them the best possible chance of improving their results.
“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.”
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.”