Big Sam on: Tottenham Hotspur

Sam Allardyce has spoken to the media ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

The West Ham United manager discussed team news, strikers and much more during his pre-match press conference.

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First off, Joe Cole has said he is ready to play again, so what is the situation with him fitness-wise?

SA: "Joe is not ready to start because we haven't seen him on the pitch for many weeks now. While he has got a couple of days more until the game on Sunday, we hope he will be involved in the squad depening how the next two days of training go.

"Joe is back into full training with us and the next two days will determine whether he comes into the squad or not but to start him after such a long time out would be remiss of me. I would only be promoting the fact that I might get him injured again and I don't want to do that.

"Certainly if I can get him on the bench that would be very good from our point of view because you want all your players fit and available for selection."

How far away is the possible signing of Carlton Cole?

SA: "I said last week that Carlton is joining in training with us and we have a planned game behind closed doors next week while the international break is on. When he has come through that game, hopefully he'll be looking fitter and after that game we see that he can make a big contribution to us. If that is the case, there is already a contract there available."

How is Andy Carroll's rehabilitation from his plantar fasciitis going and does your season hinge on his return?

SA: "I don't think our season hinges on Andy getting back in the team. It'll obviously be a big help because he's a big, big player in many ways. Our failing has been that we have not lacked creating and making chances, but we have lacked the ability to score them.

"Hopefuily, Andy will change that when he arrives but the other players can't keep missing as they are at the minute. That is the key element. We have to keep believing that those chances will eventually go into the back of the net and to keep creating them.

"We had 19 attempts away from home in a Barclays Premier League game last weekend at Hull and we dominated the game but failed to score a goal. We are creating the chances to score and Andy will play a better part in that, but all the players who have been getting these chances away from home have failed to put them in the net and that's why we are suffering the consequences now.

"We have had three games away from home with a magnificent defensive record - one goal conceded which was a penalty which was wrongfully given. That is something to really build on but at the other end, unfortunately we couldn't marry it up with a goal or two as we should have done. Six or seven points away from home would have been a fairer total than only two."

Are you concerned about Modibo Maiga not finding the net so far?

SA: "Absolutely. I would like him to have scored a few more goals and made a bigger contribution, but that's not been the case. We have got other players with us and having the chances that he and they have had and failed to score puts even more pressure on the centre forward.

"We've always been a team that shares the goals out and at the moment we're not sharing them out at all and we've got to get better at it."

What do you make of Spurs this season?

SA: "If you spend £100m you would expect that Andre Villas Boas will have to live with the pressure of getting that team playing to its potential ability as quickly and as much as possible. After a slow start in terms of goals, they have started to click in those areas.

"Certainly on what they have achieved so far, he must be absolutely delighted that they have got the results they have got and where they are in the league based on how many different players there are playing for Tottenham. At first you are dealing with a group of individuals and not a team but they are moulding into a team very quickly which is a big bonus for them."

What would be your message to West Ham supporters travelling to White Hart Lane in the light of the Club's statement reminding fans that they are ambassadors for the Club?

SA: "Support your team and support what happens on the field and try to get behind your team - it's as simple as that. I think that hopefully we will give them something to cheer about, even though it's obviously a very difficult fixture for us. Support the lads on the field and forget about everything else.

"The Club has made a statement so you will suffer the consequences if you do anything like that [obscene or offensive chanting]. If they do it, I think that's very important that they are identified and they suffer the consequences.

"We live in this society today so if you're made aware of what's acceptable and what's not you've got to be very, very careful about what you choose to chant. If you're made aware of it and it happens you don't have any excuse."