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Sam on Afcon: “We HAVE to keep players fit “

Praying AllaSam Allardyce has stressed the importance of keep players fit as the African Cup of Nations looms in January!

But he’s encouraged that the squad has shown it can cope by some of the results they have achieved this season already.

Cameroon international Alex Song and Senegal duo Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate are all expected to travel for the competition with the tournament in Equatorial Guinea stretching from January 17 to the final on February 8.

That could hinder our chances of staying with the leaders but the manager said: We need to keep the other players fit. The rest of the squad have said that they can cope by some of the results we have got this season already.

“There have been a couple of draws that might have been wins, but we have managed to cope with the loss of some players.

“What would be difficult would be to lose those three and then get four or five injured like we did before.

“That would be eight out and would be a difficulty for us. It also depends on how far they get in the competition.”

As ClaretandHugh reported a couple of weeks ago the club is set to send their own medical  staff to Equatorial Guinea to keep an eye on their players there, especially after an incident that saw Sakho return to England with a back injury which did not occur either in training or during the match.

But with the final not taking place until February, a Senegal v Cameroon final could mean all three players could miss as many as five games.

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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