Ex-West Ham managers warned under pressure Allardyce over expectations

Under pressure West Ham United manager has revealed he was warned of the fans' high expectations by former managers Harry Redknapp and Billy Bonds.

Ahead of what has turned into something of a crunch match against Mark Hughes' Stoke City at the Boleyn Ground today, Allardyce told London 24 he sought advice from two of the club's former bosses on dealing with the high expectations of the Hammers faithful.

With his job under intense scrutiny and concerned that the fan's disappointment could soon turn into widespread discontent, Allardyce said he has been reassured the fans' expectations were always the same even under Redknapp and Irons legend Bonds, who both dealt with a fair share of stick from the terraces during their tenures.

"That is the nature of the football club,” Allardyce said.

“All across the board it has been like that. I’ve spoken to Harry Redknapp about when he managed here and it was the same, him and Billy Bonds.

“So it has been the same from way back then. You are expected to deliver a lot. I don’t think it is worse at West Ham than at other clubs."

Allardyce has been quick to remind fans just how far the club has come in recent years - even accusing some of having short memories in the Daily Star - he also acknowledged the supporters are intensely loyal.

“When we were beaten by Manchester United we were applauded off, when we drew with Chelsea we were applauded off, the atmosphere was fantastic even though we didn’t win for them," Allardyce said.

“When we don’t play as well then you expect criticism. The Premier League is the best league in the world and the expectation is that any club can beat any club.”

Ahead of the 3pm kick off against Stoke, Big Sam said his side must get back to turning decent performances into results so they can start living up to the 'big expectations' they have built this year.

He told the club's official website: "Clearly when you’ve built that expectation when you don’t reach the standards you’ve set there’s a bigger disappointment there because everyone has been looking forward to it so much and it hasn’t quite delivered what excited them earlier in the season."

Allardyce said he has had to drum it into his players 'for weeks and weeks and weeks' that performances are fine, but that it is a results business.

He added: "The bottom line is we know it’s not good enough. We can keep going on about performances as much as we want, but performances have to equate to winning football matches. For us that’s what we all want – starting today."

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