Go­ing will get much tougher, warns Big Sam

Midweek Sport - - ALL TONIGHT'S CAPITAL ONE CUP FOURTH -ROUND ACTION - By IAN WIN­ROW

SAM AL­LARDYCE has warned his West Ham side that the hard work starts NOW.

The Ham­mers have emerged as one of the Premier League’s sur­prise pack­ages after shoot­ing up to fourth spot.

Satur­day’s vic­tory over cham­pi­ons Manch­ester City con­firmed their re­cent progress.

And with new sign­ings En­ner Va­len­cia, Di­afra Sakho, Alex Song and Mor­gan Amal­fi­tano fir­ing on all cylin­ders, con­fi­dence is soar­ing at Up­ton Park. But Ham­mers boss Al­lardyce is re­fus­ing to get car­ried away and in­sisted: “The hard thing is sus­tain­ing a run like we’ve been on.

“Gen­er­ally, the clubs who spend the most are the ones who are bet­ter equipped to keep things go­ing.

“We have to find out now if we can cope with the pres­sure that our good run brings.

“We’ve made an im­pact, but now the play­ers will have more scru­tiny from the op­po­si­tion, par­tic­u­larly the front two, Sakho and Va­len­cia.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground and we have to keep ask­ing our­selves, ‘ Can we get bet­ter?’”

Tired

Al­lardyce knows there will almost cer­tainly be tougher times ahead for his high fly­ers.

And the ex­pe­ri­enced boss be­lieves the mid-win­ter pe­riod will pro­vide a stern test for his new sign­ings.

He added: “We’re only nine games into the sea­son. The dif­fi­cult time ahead is De­cem­ber, when the games come thick and fast.

“The ques­tion then is will the new play­ers be­gin to feel tired?

“They have never ex­pe­ri­enced this level of phys­i­cal­ity and they could find it dif­fi­cult.

“The play­ers won’t feel tired when they are win­ning, but we still have to look at them care­fully.

“En­ner Va­len­cia, for ex­am­ple, has had a huge play­ing sched­ule this year.”

REA­SONS

TO BE CHEER­FUL: But Big Sam

says hard work starts now for the Ham­mers

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