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2014-01-20T10:33:00 Updated 2015-02-18T22:57:18

Big Sam on: Manchester City

Sam Allardyce insists there is still much to be gained from Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester City. 

Faced with a 6-0 deficit from the first meeting, Big Sam called on his West Ham United players to restore some pride at the Boleyn Ground, hopeful of a positive result this time around.    

Elsewhere, the gaffer is pleased to welcome back Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins from suspension, while keen to give Andy Carroll a third run-out in the last ten days.

Good morning Sam, how do you approach Tuesday's game? It must be quite an odd situation going into a game 6-0 down.

SA: "Well, I think that obviously based on the first leg it's not something that we wanted to happen but of course it's something we have to face. It's about playing a game of football in a competitive manner at home and trying to win it. It's as simple as that.

"We know it's highly, highly unlikely that we we're going to get through but you're playing at home, you're playing for pride, you're playing to try and get a result and your team's trying to play well. I have a couple of players back from suspension, which is important to me. They'll have a top competitive game after being suspended, Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins, which eases the problems that we've had recently.

"Andy Carroll will get another game, at some stage he'll get more minutes than he's had in the last game, which is obviously another important factor for us. Hopefully we can give Manchester City a really tough game Tuesday night and try to get something out of it."

Do you use it as a chance to change the team a bit, apart from the return of the suspended players?

SA: "We haven't got too many options to change the team, but what I have got the option for is fresher players that haven't played on a consistent basis, with our problems recently. So the players who are fatigued based on their being called upon every single game and other players who are not quite as fatigued will play, who've had slight injuries and haven't had enough game time this season.

"We will not have anybody of any inexperience out on the field, apart from probably Ravel Morrison, who's still early in his career at this level of football on a consistent basis. The rest of the team will be very, very experienced in terms of their games at this level."

You mentioned Andy Carroll, how close is he to full fitness now?

SA: "Just every game as we go along [he's getting fitter]. I think that there's a period of time where we're talking about increasing the game time and we have to be patient enough to increase that in competitive matches, where we're desperate for results. Our desperation for a result on Tuesday is about pride, not about anything else, rather than points in the Premier League.

"Andy's going to compete in a game for the first time just a few days after competing on Saturday, which is something we're looking forward to, in the hope that there is no problem, knowing that he's getting even closer to a full 90 minutes.

"Our other scenario of course is to continue to get Joey O'Brien, Winston Reid, George McCartney from the defensive point of view, back and playing as quickly as we can.

"Ricardo Vaz Te joins in training, after however many weeks he has been out, I think it's around 12 or 14. We get another option by having him back. People tend to forget about the players who are on the long-term injury list, like him, that are very important to your team and your squad. When he went of the team he was scoring goals for us and was in good form and then we lost him.

"We'll have a strong team out, but other players are looking closer to coming back from injury, which is very important for the next 16 Premier League games." 

Does Andy have a bespoke warm-up, is that why he went down the tunnel on Saturday?

SA: "The lads sort that out, where's best to do the warm-up. As I suggested before, you can do a warm-up on the side of the pitch but be distracted by the game that's going on and not continue that warm-up correctly. In Andy's case, he's just come back from an eight-month lay-off, so the warm-up needs to be under more scrutiny and more intense than a normal substitute's would be."

Is the transfer window an unsettling time?

SA: "It has always been the case and it has never changed for us that this period has been particularly difficult, with the problems that we have at the moment. The transfer window adds to that, but it's something that we have to deal with."

Have you been frustrated that you've not been able to do much business so far?

"Frustrated is an understatement on the basis of the number of deals we've tried to secure in the last six to eight weeks. I think that if you go across the board, as frustrated as we are, finding the right players is very, very difficult. There are very few deals happening across the board in this particular window and it's very difficult to get top players at this level."  

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