Big Sam on Friday

Sam Allardyce was in good form on Friday morning as he faced the press to discuss the big Sunday showdown with npower Championship rivals Leeds United.

The visitors arrive in east London knowing the Hammers are on a roll after two away wins but had an impressive midweek showing themselves, beating Hull City 4-1 at Elland Road.

The manager said new recruits George McCartney and John Carew were unlikely to be involved while he called on the fans to once again play their part.

What is the situation with John Carew and the general team news?

SA: John is OK. He played behind closed doors on Wednesday. Both he and George McCartney have got their first game in. We need more match practice for them and for both we will probably target the Aldershot match on Wednesday. Obviously with the team doing so well in the last two games, there is little or no need to change too much at the moment.

The only concern is James Tomkins coming off with a tight hamstring and we will see in the next day or two if we have had enough time to recover. He is 50-50 at the moment. We will go right to the very end and see what the situation is.

Are things finally going to plan for you?

SA: Things haven't gone off plan apart from the last-minute goal against Cardiff which ruined our opening day of the season here at Upton Park and obviously that was a big disappointment. We have overcome that by grabbing two very crucial away victories on the trot and boosting everyone's confidence at the club. The first-team squad are feeling good about themselves and hopefully they are pretty excited about Sunday's game against Leeds.

What are your thoughts on the Scott Parker bid from QPR?

SA: It was not accepted by the Chairman, so it is not enough. Simple as that. I see them possibly coming back, it depends how much money has been made available to [QPR manager] Neil Warnock and where he wants to spend it. It is entirely up to them. They set their own valuations, we set our valuation - if it is not what we want, like any other transfer you negotiate to a point where you can do a deal or you move on and look for another one.

Scott is committed to West Ham. His performance the other night showed that. This transfer window just makes everyone's life extremely difficult. It is a horrendous period you have to work you way through. Unfortunately you have to get on with it until the 31st comes and goes.

Were you disappointed to see Zavon Hines go?

SA: Yes and no. When you have a player that doesn't want to sign a contract for you there is no other option but to let him go. For whatever reason he didn't want to sign the contract and the offer we made him so he has got to move on now.

Will you bring in another striker?

SA: It depends if another striker becomes available that is different to what we have already and we can afford him. The front line is the rarest of places for availability, and if they are goalscorers they are valuable. You have to weigh up 'Can we afford him and is he what we are looking for?'

Do you find it strange that West Ham v Leeds is not a Premier League match? It shows it is a competitive league.

SA: Competition is fierce when you consider the size of the football clubs involved and the stature of the managers. It is high quality and the players seem to be improving year by year.

Everyone is striving for the big golden pot - the Premier League. For us It is not about the money it is about playing in the top league in the world. That is what it is about. The money follows after. Everyone wants to get there.

How will you cause Leeds problems like you did Watford?

SA: Well we are playing at home and if we can play that type of game then we will cause Leeds lots of problems. The key element on the Watford game was what I hadn't seen since I have been here - the quality of our finishing. That excited me.

The quality of our finishing was very good on Tuesday. It will be a different tactic we will have to use on Sunday because we are playing at home and we will have to be patient about breaking the opposition down and not getting caught on the counterattack.

How important will the fans be this season?

SA: At Doncaster we had a third of the entire attendance and it was big support at Watford as well. That always helps the players. When you are playing at home particularly you want it to be a fortress and the fans help it to be that way. Unfortunately we didn't get off to the start we wanted so I hope there are no fears or trepidation about Sunday when the lads come out to play the game.

We want them to play like they have done away from home and really send home the fans home happy and not disappointed. It is a big responsibility but when you get it right it is a great thrill and exciting. That's why the players play football. The fans create the atmosphere and the atmosphere gets the best out of the players. That's why you do the job. That is where you get the satisfaction from, that is the drug and why you never want to give it up.