Sam Allardyce views Saturday's Barclays Premier League game against Wigan Athletic as more important than Wednesday's visit of runaway league leaders Manchester United.

The Hammers produced a magnificent performance to claim a 2-2 draw against the Red Devils and Allardyce wants the intensity displayed there to be replicated at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

Sam, could we start with your team news?

SA: "We'll have the same squad as on Wednesday night, there are no [new] injuries to the players, which is great news for us, particularly in the defensive area. We managed to squeeze Winston Reid back in, after the injury to James Tomkins, which was critical to our result on Wednesday. It's about me having a look at the physical condition of the players and whether I do make the odd change, or roll with the same starting eleven and introduce the subs as we go on.

"We've had a good run of results and are on a good run of form, particularly at home. It's home against Wigan and I see it as a bigger game than Manchester United. I hope the players see it the same as I do, because the emphasis on what happens if we can produce a performance that wins us the three points is massive in terms of where we want to be. While it still might not be mathematically impossible for other teams to catch us on 42 points, I don't think anyone will have any chance [of doing it]."

Were you surprised at Sir Alex's [Ferguson] criticism of the referee on Wednesday about Andy Carroll?

SA: "I think it was a clumsy challenge. As I said after the game Andy had committed to it and wasn't going to get there in the end but couldn't stop his momentum. I still consider that to be the case. He wants to go and score, and it was probably an over-committed challenge. At the worst for me he might have got a yellow card, but it shouldn't detract from what was a good performance."

You've mentioned about pulling away from the bottom three, but deep down are you eyeing up that top ten? The table suggests you're not that far away.

SA: "It's a possibility, but the most important thing is to get the three points on Saturday. Wigan are below us and that would stretch the gap. We're not as close to Wigan as some of the other teams but it's still the distance that three points would put between them and us, and at this late stage of the season it would make it very difficult for them to catch us.

You say this is a six-pointer but it's probably a bigger match for Wigan overall. Do you have a responsibility to play well against teams at the bottom? Do you believe in that?

SA: "What you do against the bottom eight determines where you finish in the league - whether you're in it or whether you're above it. They're the teams everyone expects you to get points from and they're the ones where if those teams are struggling at that particular time, you've got to fully focus and deliver your best performances.

"In nature, when you're playing the big boys, everyone as a human being has that little bit of fear which makes you do a little bit more. You've got to make sure that's the case when you play the teams in and around you too - you've got to find your top form in those games, because when you play the top teams you can hit your best form and it might not get you a result."

What do you make of Wigan? They can play very well against the big sides and have reached the FA Cup final, but how long can they keep punching above their weight?

SA: "I think Roberto [Martinez] has the best squad he's assembled in his time there, so I think he'll probably be really disappointed with the league position he's in. They have a new style which they introduced at the back end of last season, and have continued to grow with that style of three or five at the back, however you want to look at it, That developed into this season and they've produced some performances which have been really good, but the bottom line is that when performances have not produced results then you end up with a struggle.

"I think he'll be disappointed that they haven't consistently performed to their best, and if they had they would be in a more comfortable position. When they are at their best they are very, very good. I thought they were excellent against Manchester City [on Wednesday], but like all of us you suffer if you miss your chances, and they missed their chances. They paid the price, as we've done in many games this season in the Premier League."

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