Big Sam exclusive - Part 2

Sam Allardyce has paid tribute to his backroom staff in the second part of his exclusive West Ham TV interview.

The Hammers manager has heaped praise on assistant Neil McDonald, first-team coach Ian Hendon, goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson and Development Squad manager Nick Haycock after a successful 2012/13 season.

McDonald and Margetson have worked closely with Big Sam since arriving at the Club alongside the manager in June 2011, while Hendon was promoted to his current role after leading the Development Squad to the Barclays U21 Premier League Group 1 title before Christmas. Former U18s coach Haycock took Hendon's old role in December and quickly settled into the job.

Big Sam spoke glowingly of his backroom team and is looking forward to working with his colleagues again in 2013/14.


Gaffer, your backroom staff play a big role in the day-to-day running of the Club on the football side. Can you talk about how they assist you as manager of West Ham United?

SA - "Yes, there is a huge backroom staff, of course. The ones who are closest to me are the ones who I brought in to work with me and those who I have promoted up from the Academy to work with me.

"That is firstly Neil McDonald and Martyn Margetson and I have decided, because of how well he has worked as first-team coach, to promote Ian Hendon on a permanent basis from Under-21 Development coach to first-team coach. Our Under-18s within the Academy, Nick Haycock, took over the Under-21 job when Ian moved up and Nick has done a fantastic job.

"Nick can continue the very close links between the Academy, the Under-21s and the first team squad and I feel that link is a vital stage for the development of young players at the West Ham Academy, to try and push them as quick as we possibly can into the first-team squad and ultimately into the first team."

Presumably the demands on a Premier League manager these days mean you have to rely on trusted staff like your assistant and backroom staff to take training sessions and complete numerous other tasks?

SA - "Without a doubt, and there are other areas too. There is a whole field of people who are monitoring and taking data and results. We employ sports science and strength and conditioning coaches, as well as medical staff and interns from university who come in on a day-to-day basis to analyse the data we collect.

"That is a hugely important thing for me going forward, to give me a full picture of every player and what they can achieve and can be expected to deliver. It allows me to make greater demands on a player knowing I have the data to fall back on and that is hugely important.

"The analysis department calculate all the things that a player does in a game of football and they link with sports science and medical staff, as well as me as the manager and Lee Richardson, who has integrated really well as our sports psychologist.

"I feel we've grown the whole package really well and we're even better and stronger off the field. I feel this helps the players to perform better on a matchday and to a more consistent level."

At what point in pre-season do you map out your planning and objectives for the new season?

SA - "In terms of mapping out, we have done that until the start of the season on 17 August. That's all mapped out apart from one more game we have to arrange.

"I think the most important link we've got in the near future is between me, my head of recruitment Martyn Glover and Joint-Chairman David Sullivan. Certainly David and Martyn's work is greater than mine at this moment in time because they are constantly negotiating, seeing where players are available and whether they will come, asking what level of financial involvement is there, what is the player looking for, does the player want to come to England or fancy West Ham and what the agent's, player's and other club's demands are.

"Martyn and David are doing a huge amount of work at this moment in time, which I'm linked into on a daily basis to ultimately make positive decisions to hopefully get new and better players than we have already got."