West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has emerged as the latest manager thought to be battling to save his job, according to the Daily Mirror.
Reports suggest Hammers owners David Sullivan and David Gold have told Big Sam that results need to improve quickly, or he faces the prospect of starting 2014 without a job.
And that is sure to be no easy task, with games against Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United, and Arsenal on the horizon.
Tuesday night’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park means the Hammers are dangerously poised just above the relegation zone.
West Ham’s owners remain supportive of Allardyce in public, but are understood to have voiced their frustration at poor results behind the scenes.
Frustration is also understood to have stemmed from Allardyce’s decision to spend £6million on Stewart Downing in the summer when the Hammers are so short of striking options.
Andy Carroll has been injured all season, and Allardyce has often gone into games without a recognised forward on the pitch.
The owners are ready to back Allardyce in January, but demand to see an improvement in results and performances in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile West Ham midfielder Mark Noble has leapt to the defence of captain Kevin Nolan, who was booed by Hammers fans after being substituted against Palace.
“He’s our captain, of course he has an important role to play,” Noble said.
“He’s been unbelievable for us. We needed a goal and the manager thought he’d make a change. Kev is brilliant in the dressing room. He’s big enough to handle that stuff.”