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Sam crosses fingers for African tournament

Sam Allardyce is hopeful the club can cope without Diafra Sakho, Cheikhou Kouyate and possibly Alex Song during their absence at the African Cup of Nations in late January.

Most teams losing players of such quality would struggle but Allardyce is just hoping his squad won’t be hit by injuries to worsen things.

He said: “We will try and cope with the situation in January as best we can.

“Our squad will hopefully be able to cope while they go away, in other words, when we come out of the back end of January and the African Nations start, we don’t want to have too many injuries on top of the lads disappearing for three or four weeks.

“So, that will be a big demand on us. We have got big players to come in and play now, something that will let us grow as a team.”

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon