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Sullivan: “We haven’t undermined Sam”

David Sullivan has insisted that he and the West Ham board have not put Sam Allardyce under pressure but that you cann see survival as success!

In an in depth interview with the Daily Mirror the Hammers chairman explained: “You can’t just look to stay up.It is not acceptable to our supporters to say, ‘We’ve survived. We’ve had a very good campaign.’

“We are not Norwich. We are not Fulham. We are not Reading. We are West Ham United.

“Our supporters are realistic. They know it is a huge and difficult task to break into the top six. But we must be aiming for that, even if we don’t achieve it.”

Having recruited an attacking coach some have interpreted that as undermining the manager.

But Sullivan disagrees saying: “We had a lot of people approach us to become our attacking coach and Sam picked the one he wanted. Yes, we suggested the idea, but Sam liked it. “We didn’t undermine him at all.

“I think he has analysed the performance of the team last year and agreed that we would like to score more goals. It was a weakness of the team and he has brought in an expert to try and improve that.

“Teddy Sheringham  has played at the highest level. If you combine his game intelligence with the level he has played at, I do not believe that he won’t improve our attacking ideas, whether it is the way we take our corners, our free-kicks, or just our overall strategy.

“I believe we will be a better team for having him as part of our management set-up.”

Sheringham, 48, spent three years at West Ham as a player between 2004 and 2007 and returns on a non-contract basis.

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Sullivan added: “I don’t think we have undermined Sam at all with this. We’ve been very honest with him.

He is in the last year of his contract and he knows we have to have a better performance because the fans won’t stand for it otherwise. He is not stupid.”

Questioned about the view that perhaps the Hammers’ hierarchy are being dictated to by the fans too much, Sullivan said: “It’s quite the opposite. They voted 80-20 per cent to sack the manager. We didn’t sack the manager.”

And asked who decides whether the football is entertaining enough next season, he smiled: “There will be games where the going gets tough.

“But equally I hope we whack somebody 4-0 and put on a display. So judge us over the season.”

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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