Big Sam on: Manchester United

The manager talks team news, the transfer deadline, Manchester United and more

Sam Allardyce faced the press on Friday morning ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League showdown with Manchester United.

The manager faced questions on team news, deadline day, the Red Devils and more, revealed a worrying injury list.

Morning Sam, a quick word about the new sponsorship deal?

SA: "Our commercial arm has moved very quickly since the unfortunate demise of Alpari. To get a new sponsor so quickly at this stage of the season is very impressive. Hopefully we have an exciting and successful partnership with Betway, they've shown great ambition and have grown over the last few years."

A big game this weekend against Manchester United, you've got a few injury problems, can you tell us who is in, who is out and who is doubtful?

SA: "It's particularly worrying at the moment, I've had to bring a list of the injuries with me. James Collins, Winston Reid, Guy Demel, Diego Poyet, Doneil Henry and Andy Carroll lie in our medical room at the moment. We're not sure how many of those will make it for Sunday. With such a big week coming, three games in a week, there'll be very few risks taken, unless they're 100% fit. If we play them it may exacerbate the injuries so we will go to battle with what we've got."

Could they all be out?

SA: "Yes, they could be."

And that gives you big problems in defence?

SA: "It does, which is why we went all out for a defender in the window after the Liverpool game. However it didn't work out, we were only in a position to get someone in on a loan but we couldn't pull it off. Everyone that wanted to come, wanted a permanent deal, which we couldn't do at that time, so that's the position we're in. Someone will have to fill in at the back and maybe stay there for a while."

Transfer deadline day was a bit frustrating, what are your thoughts on Tottenham blocking a move for Emmanuel Adebayor?

SA: "A lot of moves were blocked for various different reasons so I'm not that bothered. From our point of view it left us a bit frustrated, and especially Carlton Cole on the basis that he would've moved had Adebayor joined, as it happened we couldn't afford to let him go. At one stage we even thought Mauro Zarate was going to come back, but that didn't happen either. It was a frustrating day, originally it didn't look like we were going to be active until the very end, but then we picked up five injuries and now we are very short.

"We don't have a problem with them, it's there decision. If anything that was the only loan available, it just didn't work out at the end."

Manchester United's squad is full of top quality players, so we need to be patient and organised and try and frustrate them for as long as possible

What have you made of Manchester United this season?

SA: "I think they're getting stronger and stronger as the season goes on. Their ability up front to score is very impressive. Their squad is full of top quality players, so we need to be patient and organised and try and frustrate them for as long as possible. Obviously that has been made much harder with the injuries that we've got. We will have to be tactically very astute to limit them and when at all possible try and cause them a problems. This year at home we've done that very well but we can't be too ambitious. We will need to very disciplined."

So with Andy Carroll potentially injured, with Diafra Sakho replace him?

SA: "Maybe, we'll have to wait and see."

Louis van Gaal may not have worked out his strongest formation of starting XI, does that make it difficult for you to know what to expect?

SA: "It does in a sense because we don't know if they will play with a back three, or play a 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3. They made a lot of changes during the season but also while the games have been played. We've got a couple of plans with to deal with the most common two formations they've used. We'll get the lads prepared as best we can, as ever we have to play at our very best to beat a team of Manchester United's quality. If we do that we know we can cause them a few problems, I have no doubts about that."

You lost narrowly 2-1 away at Old Trafford earlier in the season, do you use that at all in the build up to this game?

SA: "Not really because that was such a long time ago. We certainly took some positives from the game as we almost came away with a result. Had it not been for a poor decision to rule out Kevin Nolan's equaliser we would have done. That would have been a great boost for us at the time. On Sunday, it's about us keeping a clean sheet, the longer we do that the more we will frustrate them and the better chance we have of winning."