Big Sam on: Tottenham Hotspur

The manager faces the press ahead of Sunday's trip to White Hart Lane

Sam Allardyce is keen for his West Ham United side to show their bouncebackability when they take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

On the back of a disappointing FA Cup exit at West Bromwich Albion, the Hammers boss is well aware of the need to give the fans something to cheer at White Hart Lane and he believes his side possess the tools to do that.

In his pre-match press conference he faced questions on team news, European ambitions and more.

Has Nene's international clearance come through yet and is he available to play on Sunday?

SA: "Whether it has come through or not he won't be available to play because he isn't match fit yet. He's a naturally fit player and he's not far away, I think ten days to two weeks before he's ready. We'll monitor his progress, he could be ready for the Crystal Palace game, we'll have to wait and see. It's nice to have him here with the CV he's got and we're looking forward to working to with him."

With 13 games to go, does he have an important role in the club?

SA: "I think so definitely. We've lost our goalscoring touch at the moment and we've struggled to put our chances in the back of the net. We had been fluent in that area at the start of the season. Obviously that is key to any team doing well and I think that is why we have drawn some games we should have won.

"Hopefully we find that touch on Sunday, against Tottenham our big rivals in a big London derby. It's a massive game for us and hopefully we do as well as we did there last season."

How important is this game in terms of reaching a European place?

SA: "We need to rekindle our winning mentality, we've been playing very well recently but haven't been collecting enough wins. We have to maintain that level to qualify for Europe and certainly beating the big boys will be difficult but not impossible.

There have been question marks over your future at the Club, how do you deal with that?

SA: "The same way I deal with most things in the game, I don't listen to it. It's not my desire to listen to praise or criticism. I like to be professional and work with the people within the football club to try and get the best out of them. I hear things but I don't take any notice of it. "

Does it concern you that information is getting out there about X, Y and Z being linked with your job?

SA: "Not really, there was speculation last season same as this season, I think there always will be. It seems to me it occurs if and when you get a bad result."

Andy Carroll is out injured for a while. How have the players reacted to that?

SA: "Everyone is very disappointed and he's very disappointed himself. These things happen in football, unfortunately for Andy it is happening too often. He's managed to overcome the last injury and came back and did well. I think he was getting back to his best and then a different injury happened. We can only hope that sooner rather than later he can overcome these problems for good. He was scoring goals and playing well, it was difficult making choices between him, Diafra Sakho, Carlton Cole and Enner Valencia because they were all at the top of their game.

It isn't quite happening for the strikers at the moment. Can you put your finger on quite why?

SA: "Yes, it's their first season here, in English football. They're not used to the level of football we play on a regular basis. They're not used to the demand, both physically and mentally and as a result there in a little bit of a lull trying to cope with that. There is no let up at this level. They haven't experienced a Christmas like we have here. It takes it toll on everyone but the experienced players know how to deal with it better."

Apart from Andy Carroll and Nene, is everybody else fit and raring to go?

SA: "Yes at the moment. Matt Jarvis, Winston Reid and James Collins have all recovered. Where we go from here will depend on how fit we keep the players. We will strive to push on and try and get as many players fit for the rest of the season."

Harry Kane has been in excellent form this season, scoring all types of goals. Will you be looking to stop the supply line to him?

SA: "Absolutely, that's one way of stopping him. We are aware of his capabilities. He was a surprise at the start of the season and no one expected him to make such an impact. But he's been brilliant. He was an unknown quantity, a bit like Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho. But now everyone knows what to expect, the fact he's managed to keep on scoring shows you how good he really is."

When you cast your mind back to that 3-0 win last season, does it seem like a long time ago now?

SA: "Yeah, with no strikers either. It was a great result, one of the best performances and results in my time here at the Club. We were in such a difficult position with no strikers available and it seemed to work surprisingly well.

Tottenham have played the most games out of any side in the Premier League. Have you been surprised with how well they've coped?

SA: "I wouldn't say I've been surprised but I am impressed. He's managed to find out as quickly as possible what his players are capable of. He's rotated his team on a regular basis and he has a very talented squad to work with. As a result he's managed to keep his players happy which is very important. They've performed for him exceptionally well and he's done an excellent job."

Following Sunday's game, you've got three other London derbies afterwards. Is it fair to say your season will be determined by what happens in London?

SA: "I think the next 13 games as a whole will determine our season. A win in a derby team is a bonus for us all, particularly the fans. We're concentrating on winning as many games as possible from now on until the end of the season."