England and West Ham legend Geoff Hurst has given his backing to Sam Allardyce as the right man to manage the Hammers.
The 1966 World Cup-winning striker, who spent 15 years at the East London club, says the perceived pressure on Allardyce is "crazy" and believes the Hammers should target a mid-table finish.
"I’m very much in the camp of wanting to keep Sam Allardyce", Hurst told Sky Sports. "We need to improve the team, there’s no doubt about that. He hasn’t got a great side but the way I see it if he can keep us mid-table then that’s a fantastic job."
“It’s crazy that there’s pressure on Sam Allardyce before the season has started but that’s football. They haven’t had a particularly good pre-season but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
"Down the years at West Ham, we have had good results after not doing well in pre-season and we’ve had poor years after making a good start so it doesn’t mean a lot."
Allardyce has been dogged by speculation surrounding his job for months despite guiding West Ham to a respectable 13th-placed finish in the Premier League last season.
That has not been helped by a less-than-impressive pre-season campaign, in which the Hammers have recorded three draws, three losses and only one win.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the pressure on the Englishman's job is his uninspiring brand of football. Allardyce's teams have traditionally stuck to a long-ball game, and that apparently does not sit well with the Hammers fans or the board.
Allardyce is the clear favourite to be the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season, but if he continues to be relatively successful with West Ham, and he maintains a steady mid-table position, it will be tough for the club to sack him. If results go south, however, he could find himself looking for a new club sooner rather than later.