Sam Allardyce has been confirmed as the new boss of West Ham United and has spoken of his ambition to return the club to the top-flight.Allardyce, who was sacked by Blackburn Rovers in December, will take charge with immediate effect as the Hammers look to make their stay in the Championship a short one.
The 56-year-old has already made the board aware of his intentions to bring in several signings during the off-season transfer window, and said he is excited by the challenges ahead at Upton Park.
“It is an honour to be the new manager of West Ham United,” he said.
“It is a fantastic club with a great tradition and loyal supporters who deserve to be in the Premier League.”
“I can’t wait to begin pre-season training as I am determined to get this club back where it belongs.”
One of his initial responsibilities will be shoring up a squad that will likely be stripped of their best players as West Ham’s owners look to cover some of the financial burden of relegation from the English Premier League.
England internationals Robert Green, Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Matthew Upson are all expected to be sold off in the off-season window.
But Allardyce is confident he has the makings of a promotion-winning side at his disposal, and has singled out West Ham’s youth academy prospects as crucial to the coming campaign.
“There is a core of very talented young players at the club who’ve come up through the youth system, have West Ham in their blood and who I know I can build a successful team around,” he said.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to, managing a club that wins more games than it loses and competing at the top of the table.”
“We need to create a winning mentality and give the fans a team they can be proud to watch.”
Blackburn’s new owners Venky’s Group criticised Allardyce’s preferred style of play after his sacking in December, saying it was not attractive enough to win over fans and high-profile signings.
The new Hammers manager moved to allay fears from the claret-and-blue faithful that their beloved passing game would be altered.
“I know there will be West Ham fans asking whether I’m going to abandon the style of play that’s been the club’s heritage over the years. All I’ll say is it will be a tale of home and away,” he said.
“At Upton Park we’ll attempt to play the kind of passing game the fans want. We will aim to continue in the same way on our travels but we’ll also be tough, hard to beat and utterly resilient.”
Avram Grant was sacked by the Hammers mere hours after their relegation was confirmed by a 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic in May.