Football

Big Sam: We'll beat City for Gerrard

Sam Allardyce doesn't look the sentimental type, but the West Ham boss said that he would like his team to deny Manchester City the Premier League title in the final match of the season tomorrow because Liverpool's Steven Gerrard deserves to win it.

City, who have already beaten West Ham three times this season, are favourites to become champions.

Two points ahead of Liverpool, they also have a much better goal difference and effectively need only a draw tomorrow to win a second title in three seasons.

"From a neutral point of view, everybody would like to see Liverpool win it. From a personal point of view, I'd like to see Steven Gerrard win it," Allardyce (above) told the West Ham website.

"It's the last thing for him which he hasn't quite achieved at Liverpool. He's been a one-club man all his life.

"Obviously they've let it slip out of their hands. They had it to take, but they've now left it in the hands of Manchester City.

"On form and the position they're in, you'd have to say City are the favourites."

City, one of the world's richest clubs since being bought by Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, won 3-1 in the league at Upton Park last October, then trounced Allardyce's side 6-0 and 3-0 in the two-legged League Cup semi-final in January.

"We all know that City in full flow are very difficult to play against," he added.

"We've got to go out there and give a fantastic performance to stop them trying to grasp the title.

"It will be hugely difficult because they're the best team at home in the league - they've lost only once against Chelsea. Their goal record is fantastic and they have great players.

"For us, every player can go out and give everything he's got on the basis that he knows we're in the Premier League next year - let's try and spoil City's party."

Allardyce insisted that he has received no indication from the club's owners that his future is under threat.

Allardyce rang co-chairman David Sullivan on Thursday after reports emerged suggesting he faced the sack after the team's final game of the season at City tomorrow.

FRUSTRATION

Hammers fans have regularly vented their frustration over the club's style of football under Allardyce and Sullivan apologised for the campaign at the club's end-of-season awards dinner on Tuesday.

Allardyce is due to meet Sullivan next week but the Hammers boss does not believe his position will be on the agenda.

"I rang him up and spoke to him about what's been planted around and under those circumstances we just talked about getting together and having our meeting next week," Allardyce said.

"The only thing I can say is I spoke to David Sullivan yesterday about us arranging our usual end-of-the-season meeting to go through pre-season and go through budgets and what will happen next season.

"I had no indication that my position is under threat. That's all I know, he's the boss and that's the bottomline for me." 
- Wire Services.