Allen's A Fan!

Reading assistant boss Martin Allen reveals that he is still a Hammers fan at heart - and cheered on the team to FA Cup success at Old Trafford last season!

The West Ham old boy, number two to Alan Pardew, says he is delighted when West Ham win - Tuesday evening excepted.

"I took my two boys and saw the win at Old Trafford; it was a brilliant Sunday out," he says.

"I was singing my heart out for the Hammers, though I was in the Manchester end.

"If they can do that to Manchester United they can certainly cause us problems!"

He cannot wait to pit his wits against the Hammers and adds:

"The fact that it is West Ham adds a little spice from my point of view.

"We are a good team but there are certainly no stars here - everyone has to dedicate themselves 100% on and off the field.

"We were the only side in the country not to concede a goal in the first five games and we have had three wins, a draw, and a loss."

He is trying not to think about the galaxy of stars in the West Ham line up and adds:

"We had someone watching the game at Derby; we looked at the sheet and all the names of dangerous players so we put that in the drawer, closed it rapidly and decided we had better end up concentrating on ourselves.

"If not we would be spending the whole day on the toilet.

"Upton Park will always be special to me - and this will be a special night.

"The people are friendly and welcoming, and I have still got a lot of feeling for West Ham."

And Martin is backing Glenn Roeder to make a success of his job.

He says:

"Do I feel sympathy for him?

"No, he is big enough and strong enough to understand that people may want to vent their anger and say he is not a big name.

"But what these people tend to forget is that he he did all right as manager at Watford, selling players on for big money.

"He did the same at Gillingham, and he was with the England squad, so that tells you he has a good reputation within football.

"He knows West Ham inside out, and has got a good coach in Paul Goddard.

"I honestly believe he is going to do a very good job for West Ham and that the future is bright."

Martin has his own managerial ambitions and says:

"I'm certainly enjoying it at Reading; I'm still only 36 years old and this is a good learning curve before perhaps one day going into management."