Big Sam on: Chelsea

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce faced the media ahead of Wednesday night's game with table toping Chelsea. 

In the press conference, Allardyce answered questions about team news for tomorrow night, Nene's debut and bouncing back from the defeat by Crystal Palace. 

Morning Sam, first of all, what’s the team news for tomorrow night’s game?

"We’re lucky enough not to have picked up any injuries on the weekend, so we have the same squad available."

You expressed your disappointment at the weekend. What have you said to the players?

"The way we conceded the goals was very disappointing. I think the fact that we were 3-0 down made it look worse than it was. But Crystal Palace did what they needed to do to win the game and that’s what it’s all about."

Mile Jedinak has been charged for the incident with Diafra Sakho, something that the referee didn’t see at the time. Do you think there needs to be some sort of rule change?

"I’m glad Jedinak has been charged but the biggest issue for me was that Glenn Murray shouldn’t have been on the field after 25 minutes, not only persistent fouling but the level of fouling.

"I have a lot of respect for Mike Dean, I think he is a very, very good referee but I think he was too lenient with him. He booked him and then he gave him a final warning for a challenge that should’ve been a yellow card. So in that particular instance, Crystal Palace have been let off and Murray then scored two goals.

"I’ve never been a great lover of retrospective action because it doesn’t help the team that the foul happened against. But it was good that Jedinak has been punished because what he did was very dangerous and it could’ve seriously injured Diafra Sakho. He’ll have to accept the punishment he gets because he does deserve it."

What’s latest with Winston Reid’s contract, will he be hear beyond the summer?

"I have absolutely no idea. He has an exceptionally good offer on the table but he won’t make a decision either way. We cannot get a decision out of him, unless we torture him. Cocktail sticks under the nails or ring up Jack Bauer, I’m sure he could get the answer out of him."

West Ham are ninth in the league and yet there is still doubt about your future hear, is that fair?

"Media have to write about something so they write about the contract situation. All publicity is good publicity, so write what you want. I can’t explain the situation anymore, and I am not going to explain it again."

What did you make of Nene’s impact when he came on?

"He has the ability to change a game, it was just a shame that his shot didn’t go in. That was a key moment in the game and might’ve changed the result, as was Mark Noble’s shot that hit the crossbar.

"There were times in the game that could’ve changed the course of the game and get back into the game. The overriding disappointment was spending so much time on Palace’s set pieces but it didn’t pay off. We now face Chelsea, our third local derby in a row, who are the best team in the league.

"We need to get back to the level of performance we saw against Tottenham. We play to our best tomorrow night and still lose because Chelsea are that good, but we will give it our best shot."

With Chelsea having won the League Cup on Sunday, can that help you as a distraction with the celebrations?

"I think Jose’s side rarely slip up that way, that’s why they’re so good. The demand on the Chelsea players is huge, from the manager but also the pressure on the manager. They’re not allowed to be off or not at their best, that is the demand that Jose puts on his players.

"With Chelsea, I expect them to be very efficient, they’re the best at doing that, they make the least number of mistakes which is why they are at the top of the Premier League."

Last season, you had a terrific result away at Chelsea. How much of an effect does that have on the players? I remember his comments after the game…

"You mean playing like he does when they go away to Bayern Munich or Barcelona? That’s the way to play when you need a result. You do what you need to do in this game. For me, it’s about us playing to our best and challenging for a result."

Have you heard the new about Dave Mackay?

"We both lived in Nottingham when I was at Notts County. He was a great man, he knew his stuff about football and management. It was always good to see him, I spent many good nights with him and I learnt a lot from him. So it’s obviously very sad news."