Big Sam on: Blackpool

Sam Allardyce says everything is going well as West Ham United prepare for the conclusion of their season in Saturday's big Play-Off date with Blackpool at Wembley.

There was good news on the injury front as Jack Collison returned to training on Thursday and his chances of making the final are looking good. Training has also been hugely positive this week, with the squad making use of the Boleyn Ground pitch for the final two training sessions on Thursday and Friday.

Sam, can you give us any team news please?
I think everyone who has been playing recently is fit and available. The squad is quite strong and we just have a final couple of days to select the side and I'll let the lads know the team on Friday and the subs on Saturday morning.

We'll train at Upton Park on Thursday and Friday as it's a better venue for the build-up and then I think the lads will look forward to the game and I don't think it can come quick enough. It's been a long wait since Cardiff and they are eager now to get going and they will hopefully give the best performance of the season.

Do you two previous results against Blackpool count for anything?
It should give us a bit of confidence as we've managed to beat them twice both here and at Bloomfield Road. They'd only lost three at home all season and one of our best performances was the 4-1 win there. The Play-Off final will be different and it is a one-off game and it will be a great game to be involved in, especially for the players. It won't be easy so we must treat them with the upmost respect and try to expose their weaknesses as early as we can.

Are you comfortable with pressure?
I think we all know how big the game is as the pressure builds-up day by day. We're low key in our training and nobody wants to get any injuries. It should bring the best out of us and not have one of those where we freeze on the big stage.

Have you planned for next season yet?
I haven't given it that much thought as we've planned for next pre-season as that's all we can do as basically it stays the same whatever division we're in. We don't know what the outcome of Saturday will be and we hope we can overcome Blackpool but that will be a tricky task based on the fact that they've recently won there 3-2 against Cardiff, so they've got a lot of players that have experienced the victory that they gained on that day. I would have thought that in Ian's terms that would give his players a bit of and edge. We'll have to wait and see.

Right now my focus on the team and get the best out of them in the most important game since Alan took them up through the Play-Offs. It's important for the status of everyone in the club who require Premier League status. From a revenue point of view it brings a great amount of revenue to the club and it brings us worldwide branding.

Will the players be nervous?
SA: They won't be as nervous as me but I think the players are the lucky ones as they will be nervous before the game but once they cross the white line and have the pleasure of playing in one of the world's greatest arenas. They're the lucky ones as they don't feel the nerves and get on with the game. It's everyone else like the coaching team and the supporters who get the nerves from then on in.

I think there will be a certain amount of anxiety but in a game like this you need to control their emotions and give the best performance they can give. From my point of view I need to control my emotions to make the best decisions in the game. That's my job and if that needs to be done then I need to get that decisions right.

How important will the crowd's backing be?
There'll be more than 35,000 West Ham fans there I can tell you that! It'll be more like 45,000. Everyone has been ringing me for tickets so if anyone is listening to this then don't ring me as there aren't any left! If I catch players getting people tickets now I'll give them a good dressing down as tickets for friends and family is a massive distraction for this. The lads have put that to bed on Tuesday so hopefully we can just continue to focus on the game.

Is the big money available in the Premier League an added pressure?
It's one that everyone strives to achieve now. Blackpool have tasted life in the PL recently and want to get there again and we want to get back there in the first time of asking and knowing what that extra finance will bring. But really it's about our own pride and status and not about the money. It's about coaching and managing in the best league in the world. If we can get there then that brings the best funding to earn more than you would do normally. It's not money that's the motivation; it's the winning of a football match.

Are you pleased to have players with a lot of experience?
I think those players with the experience need to be the mentors for the other lads who haven't been there and once they see the other lads performing to the best it drags them along and then the team can give a great performance. You must first start the game well and get that first pass right and get that first tackle and header right. That sets us up to let us know how we're going to play on the day. That will be critical to us trying to win on the day.

How big is this game?
It'll a super atmosphere and it's a fabulous stadium to go and compete in. Hopefully we will be victors but I know a man down the road called Ian who will be looking to win just as much as me! I've got every respect for them and what they're trying to do. We will have to be at our very best to overcome them.

Have you been surprised at the size of the club?
That swell of support will be great to hear and they will cheer our lads on. That's what we do it for. It's a big stage and let's hope they deliver. I'd like to squash a rumour I've heard today that we've had Premier League shirts made up. We haven't. Some media site has said we've had them printed but we haven't. We've had 'Play-Off finals' printed and nothing else.