Sam Allardyce has spoken to the gathered media ahead of West Ham United's Barclays Premier League match against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Big Sam was quizzed on the importance of the clash against the Mackems, the new manager factor and the latest team news.

Morning Sam, what's the latest team news?

SA: "I've bought a list in with me because I've got that many [out] today. We've got a couple off sick but we think they'll be ok, James Collins and Guy Demel. Obviously the ones who are definitely out are Winston Reid, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, Mladen Petric, Ricardo Vaz Te and Kevin Nolan who's suspended. We're not in a great place for selection purposes particularly with this December programme we've got, with Wednesday as well as Saturday and then Manchester United the following Saturday.

"It's a difficult period for us and we all know what position we're in with results. The lads who are available need to step up to the plate and try and do the business. We hope that James Tomkins will come through the fitness test but we won't know that until tomorrow so I'll select the team around that. Off we go to try and repeat a Fulham performance against Sunderland and hopefully get the same result."

It's been suggested that Stewart Downing's injury could keep him out for up to ten weeks; do you have an update on that?

SA: "I don't think it will be that long. We always try not to be too specific about the date of any particular injury. First and foremost it's about how quickly does the scar heal, does Stewart recover from that and then when he starts training again how does he feel on a day-to-day basis? At this moment in time it's very difficult to say based on the healing process as we don't know how long that will be.

"We've done all aspects possible to make sure that the one big thing that is stopped with this is infection. The size and depth of the wound means that the last thing we want after the surgeon stitching him back together is an infection. That would put him back a period of time. Hopefully they'll be no infection in there and I think his recovery will be much quicker than ten weeks."

Just how big is this game against Sunderland?

SA: "The same size as the Fulham one. When we played against them we were in a similar position and we alleviated that pressure for a short period of time. We let ourselves down after that, particularly in the Crystal Palace game, [not] on performance but no result. As expected it would always be difficult with the way Liverpool are playing at home to get something there. The big disappointment last week was obviously the Crystal Palace result after such a big result against Fulham so Sunderland is another massive game for us, another massive three points that we need to make sure we stay in touch with the people above us. That makes it a critical game for both teams. Both teams need to win, that's what you need to do and I presume that listening to Gus' quotes that's their objective. They've got to start winning somewhere along the line, as have we, we need to start winning more games."

Is there any chance that Andy Carroll could play a part?

SA: "There's no chance that Andy Carroll will play any part because he's only been training on his own at the moment. Going through gentle processes of rebuilding his confidence in the injury not reoccurring and that's the big thing. Once you've recovered from one injury there's always a confidence factor when you come back into training over whether it's ok. When you come back to training and it goes again then there's a greater fear the second time you come back. I think that from Andy's point of view we take things on Andy's say so as well as the specialists. He's got no chance of playing in the next two weeks."

You had a fans' forum on Tuesday night, are the supporters understanding of your predicament?

SA: "It's obviously not an easy time for us all and supporters are frustrated, I understand that. They didn't and we didn't expect to be where we are at this moment in time. I said to them what I've said to everyone else here that we've got to continue on a positive note on the back of the performance level that we've achieved this year. It hasn't bought the results we've deserved as often as it should have done. We all know the reason why because when we've been in control we've not been ruthless enough to score at that particular time and instead of winning the game we've ended up drawing the game and sometimes instead of drawing the game we've ended up losing it.

"That's been our ultimate problem throughout the whole of the season. That coupled with injuries and suspensions makes life more difficult for us as a squad to overcome that at this period of time to try and get results. It's more difficult now than it was a few weeks ago because of the selection processes I have within the squad and so many games coming all at once. When we had the first three months of the season we'd only played eleven games. Now we're going to play seven or eight in one month so if you've got injuries in that month then that makes life very difficult."

We've spoken about your need for a result, have you had any discussions with the owners about your future?

SA: "I wouldn't have thought I'd need any discussions with the owners, they're either going to stick with me or they're not. That's entirely up to them depending on how they see me in the job and how they see the situation at the moment. I can only say when I look at their history that they've always shown a level of patience to try and overcome a difficult situation, I hope this will be the same and I'm sure it will. At the end it's about us getting results again to alleviate the pressure on us all.

"Everyone will speculate about my position because I'm around where all the other clubs are and all the other clubs have got rid of their managers so they all perceive that I'm the next in line. It's about picking a few results up and then the pressure goes away for a while. Hopefully we can sustain the results and keep the pressure off us all for a while. From our point of view we have to keep focused on our own job. It's the first time in two-and-a-half years that we've had a bad run since I've been here. It happens, we've got to make sure we're determined enough and have the right desire to overcome it."