Big Sam on: Chelsea

Sam Allardyce has spoken to the media ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit of Chelsea.

West Ham United go into the game seeking their first victory in five league matches, while the Blues will be seeking to end their own run of two games without a win.

Seeking his first career success against Jose Mourinho, the Hammers manager discussed Saturday's game, the need to take chances and much more.

Sam, can we start by asking you for some team news?

SA: "Any injury comes at a bad time, especially when it happens to your international players, because they are generally your first-team players. We're calculating the injury list at the moment, but we're hopeful that the extent of James Collins and Joey O'Brien's injury will not keep them out of selection for Chelsea.

"Our assessment of Razvan Rat is a more difficult situation where he came off with a hamstring injury after 25 minutes [of Romania's FIFA World Cup Play-Off with Greece on Tuesday]. On top of the other injuries, these have come in the defensive area where we cannot really afford to suffer any more because Winston Reid is also out.

"George McCartney is just back to match-fitness, but we're short in the defensive area. That's just our luck at the moment because three defenders have been blighted by injuries on international duty, but hopefully James and Joey will recover and Razvan looks like a difficult one at the moment."

Are defensive injuries an even bigger worry considering you have leaned so heavily on your defensive record so far this season?

SA: "Yes, the mainstay of our season so far has been our defence, especially away from home. At Norwich, though, we made defensive errors that caused us to lose the game that we shouldn't have lost.

"It's the mainstay of our game until we find more goals. It's not the fact that we're not creating chances - it's the fact we are converting chances often enough and the stats prove that. Our stats show we're making as many chances as anybody else, but our failure rate is the highest, so we need to continue to try to improve that.

"Mainly, our focus is on the fact we are a very good defensive side and we keep a lot of clean sheets. At the moment, we're pleased with our performances but very disappointed with our results."

Is there any update on Andy Carroll?

SA: "Not really. We are trying to get a date out of the guys over in Amsterdam [where he is being treated] but they are reluctant to give us any clear indication of when he's going to be able to join us back here and start training with the squad and getting back into the team.

"It's obviously a great worry and concern for us all and one we have to make sure we deal wtih. To take the pressure off us all, we need results that we haven't achieved in the first eleven games."

How crucial will Ravel Morrison be in turning results around, and what did you make of his training ground mule-kick volley for England U21s?

SA: "Ravel is blessed with talent and he flashed a little bit of it in that training session. We all know about his ability and know his ability has started to be applied the right way in football matches but, for me, there is still massive room for improvement.

"For me, it will always be about telling Ravel he is getting good publicity, but there is still more to come from him. There is still I demand from him and hopefully he will demand that of himself and it will continue his development and help West Ham be a better team and get better results in the near future."

Chelsea have lost at Newcastle United and drawn at home with West Bromwich Albion in their previous two league matches, so do you sense a vulnerability about them?

SA: "Obviously those two results give you a chance to see where their weaknesses lie. At the end of the day, we have to be on top of our game on Saturday. All the players who play and take part will have to hit top form - anything less than that will make life difficult for us.

"It we can do that, we can cause Chelsea one or two problems and ultimately pressure is fine and playing good football is fine, but scoring goals, converting chances and winning football matches is what we're all paid to do. We're not finding the end product at the moment, but we have to do that against Chelsea on Saturday.

"We may find it harder to create chances than we have done against other sides because they are a top team with top players. Creating chances will be at a premium, so we have to be clinical enough to take them when we get them. If we can do that, as Newcastle showed a few weeks ago, we can frustrate Chelsea and win the game.

"That game showed there is a vulnerability there and, if your team masters its tactics, you can beat a team as big as Chelsea."

Do you see any similarities between Jose Mourinho's current Chelsea side and the one that won the Premier League title at Bolton when you were in charge in 2005?

"Not really because it's a totally different team apart from four players - John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech. Since then, the rest of the side has changed dramatically from the fantastic team he had then which won the league.

"That was a different era and a long time ago. A year is a long time in football, never mind five or six years. It's in the past and you always look to the future."