Downing reveals Allardyce's advice before Stoke game

West Ham Upton Park

West Ham United's Stewart Downing has revealed that Sam Allardyce warned his side of complacency before they took on Stoke City this weekend.

Stewart Downing says that West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce had warned the side against complacency before they took on Stoke City at the weekend.

The Hammers went into the game following a victory against Manchester City and Allardyce told his men that they would be foolish to think they were guaranteed to beat Stoke, too, as a result.

The message was not heeded, though, as they allowed the Potters to establish a two goal lead in the match before being pegged back.

"The manager stressed before Stoke that, after beating Man City, we couldn't go out thinking we just had to go out and we had won the game," he said to West Ham's official site

"In the first half, they could have been out of sight, to be honest, with the chances they had. Our keeper made a great save from Mame Biram Diouf just before half-time and if he had scored it would have been 2-0."

In the end, West Ham benefited from Stoke's profligacy as they got themselves back into the game with a much improved second-half performance.

Allardyce changed tactics in the second half, moving Downing into a more central role, and giving his team more licence to attack. The England international believes the manager should take full credit for their comeback point.

"To be fair to the manager in the second half, he called me over and made the change and said he was just going to go for it," Downing said.

"Credit to him because he made the change. I was quite happy out wide, but it was difficult to get involved at times, so credit to him for putting me in the middle and going for it, because it's paid off for us and we've got a point out of the game.

It is further praise for Allardyce, who has changed a number of supporter's opinions of his management so far this season.

The pressure had been growing on the Hammers boss because of the dullness of their football under his stewardship previously, but the side are now playing with one of the most entertaining styles in the division.

They are currently in fifth position, as a result, and if they keep this form up then there is already talk of the possibility of a European push. 

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