Allardyce pleased West Ham won’t have to deal with Liverpool’s Suárez
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce admits he is relieved Luis Suárez is suspended for Liverpool's trip to Upton Park
Sam Allardyce is plotting a repeat of last weekend’s eye-catching win over Chelsea and the Hammers boss is delighted to be doing so without the considerable headache of stopping Luis Suárez.
Liverpool’s top marksman is consigned to the stands thanks to the injudicious handball which earned him a fifth caution in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton.
And having notched up 10 of the Reds’ 19 league goals this term, Allardyce insists they are a lesser force in his absence.
“We’re pleased that Luis Suárez is not playing because he has been an outstanding centre-forward in the Premier League this season,” said the West Ham boss.
“Without him, they are not quite as big of a goal-scoring force as they would be with him, so we want to take advantage of that on Sunday.”
To do just that, Allardyce called on his players to replicate the second-half showing that saw them come from a goal down to run out 3-1 winners against Chelsea at Upton Park.
No mean feat, he insists: “We hit such levels of performance in the second half that it’s now my job to sustain that because sustainability is the most difficult thing to do in the Barclays Premier League.
“It’s my job to make sure we don’t have a dip after that type of performance because we’ll need to be up there again to beat a team like Liverpool.”
With Andy Carroll sidelined through injury – albeit ineligible against his parent club in any case – Carlton Cole will continue to deputise, hoping to add to last Saturday’s strike, his first of the season.
Both he and Carroll have struggled in front of goal and Allardyce accepts his frontmen need to find their scoring touch, and quickly.
“I hope [Carlton] can carry it on and continue to score goals because that has been one of our slight weaknesses – that our centre forwards haven’t really scored enough.
“We’ve had lots of players scoring goals [14 so far] but we’ve not had anybody rattling the goals in apart from Kevin Nolan.”