Sam Allardyce eyes a happy Hammers return as West Brom look to build momentum

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Nick Mashiter, PA
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West Brom boss Sam Allardyce is relishing a return to West Ham after breathing fresh life into the Baggies’ survival hopes.

Albion go to the London Stadium on Tuesday following Saturday’s vital 3-2 derby win at Wolves.

They are looking for back-to-back top-flight wins for the first time since 2018.

The Hammers have been in the Premier League since Allardyce took them back via the Championship play-offs in 2012.

He left the club in 2015 and was replaced by Slaven Bilic – who he succeeded at The Hawthorns when Bilic was axed by the Baggies last month – and is proud of his achievements in east London.

“I’m glad you said that, that they’re in the Premier League because of me. I had four very good years there, took them up in the first year and had three fantastic years in the Premier League,” said Allardyce.

“It’s nice to see them maintain that position and trying to improve on it. It was a job well done and going back can only be a joy to me if we get a result.

“There are several clubs with massive problems with home results. A lot of clubs have had to wait patiently to get some home wins. The overall average, was there are more away wins than home wins, certainly it was two weeks ago.

“It shows you what difference it makes with no fans. Because the fans aren’t there maybe the mentality of the players means we can play more freely because they’re not being intimidated by the home fans.

“We have also struggled at home to get a result and when that comes around we have to focus on that.”

Conor Gallagher is available after a ban and Sam Johnstone may return after missing the game at Molineux with coronavirus.

Matt Phillips was also suffering from Covid-19 last week while Grady Diangana (hamstring), Karlan Grant (foot) and Conor Townsend (knee) are out.

Saturday’s Black Country derby win was just Albion’s second league victory of the season, although Brighton’s 1-0 win at Leeds meant second-from-bottom Baggies are five points from safety.

“West Ham is now about trying to come off the pitch undefeated. We can’t go down and say ‘we’re going to win’ in the position we are in,” said Allardyce.

“This (beating Wolves) is one result which gives us confidence. We have to apply ourselves as well as we did on Saturday and take our chances when they come along.

“The small criticism I have is not converting chances from open play, we have to improve that because our goals came from two penalties and a throw in.

“We can’t always rely on set plays and it’s something we can work on.
It comes around very quickly now. The lads have to recover and show the confidence they have gained.”