Allardyce accepts criticism

The Bolton News: West Ham were beaten by West Brom on Saturday - their fourth straight league defeat West Ham were beaten by West Brom on Saturday - their fourth straight league defeat

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce feels football fans are quicker to vent their frustration now than ever before in his management career.

Allardyce has come in for criticism from some Hammers fans over the football played by the team this season but is focused on taking the east London club forward.

He was the target of abuse again during Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League loss at West Brom, his side's fourth straight defeat.

Boos and chants were hurled at him from the away section at the Hawthorns, and a banner was held aloft which read: "Fat Sam out, killing WHU".

Allardyce oversaw West Ham's promotion to the top flight in his first season in charge and then guided them to a 10th-placed finish last term. While he admits he did not like being on the end of such vitriol, he could understand why the criticism was being voiced and emphasised that he accepted it he because he was "responsible".

Asked if the hostility would make him consider his future over the summer, Allardyce said: "We all get it at some stage or another, no matter where we are or who we are with.

"If we are not winning football matches, we all get criticised.

"Fans are showing their disapproval quicker than at any other time I've known in the last 20 years or so.

"So we have to accept that change in the game and try to keep them happy as best we can - and the best way to do that is to win football matches.

"My responsibility is to build a better team than this one. That is my responsibility, along with the owners - making sure that everything gets put into place in the hope that next season we can be better than this season.

"Overall this season we haven't really been as good as we should have been and we haven't really produced as many results as we should have done. So getting better and improving that is the highest thing on the agenda.

"I'm well aware of the situation in terms of how we have to finish the season off - as high as we possibly can, in terms of performances and results.

"And also, I know there is a huge amount of work to be done in the summer - hopefully for me to make the squad better."

West Ham are 14th in the table on 37 points, five above the relegation zone with two more games to play.

When it was put to him that his side may well already be safe, Allardyce said: "It is possible, but there is nothing in my make-up that says we should therefore take it easy.

"I've been saying to the players for the last few weeks that the game is about results, not going out and playing games of football and losing. It is about going out and trying to win.

"I think the disappointing thing is, whether we are safe or not, we have lost four games on the trot and we really should not have allowed ourselves to have done that on the basis that, going into that period, we had won six out of the last nine."

West Brom's win, secured by Saido Berahino's close-range strike in the 11th minute, saw them take a major step towards survival. Albion are 15th in the table and four points clear of the drop zone with three more matches left.

It was also their first victory at home since Pepe Mel's appointment as head coach in January.

In a tenure that has been difficult for various reasons, things have not been made any easier for the Spaniard by the doubt over his future in the role, something he admits he is in the dark about himself.

But he was in understandably positive mood after Saturday's triumph, which he felt left his side "pretty much safe".

West Brom collected just four points and registered no victories in Mel's first seven matches in charge, but have taken 11 points and won three times in the seven games that have followed.

And asked if he wanted to carry on with the job, he said: "Of course.

"I think the job is only half done, and if I'm given the opportunity, I think I can do a good job here.

"I really am extremely happy for the fans.

"(During the West Ham match) they have once again shown that they are the best in the Premier League, and we were all able to go home happy."

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