Sam Allardyce is hoping his depleted squad will once again cope well with adversity, when West Ham visit Reading on Saturday.
The Hammers boss saw his side reduced to ten men against Everton last Saturday following Carlton Cole’s controversial red card. While the outcome of the appeal is yet to be heard, Allardyce is planning for the trip to Berkshire without last season’s top scorer.
And Big Sam has admitted in an interview published on the Hammers’ official website, that the club would badly miss Cole, if the appeal against his ban proves unsuccessful, while fellow striker Andy Carroll continues to be sidelined through injury.
“We couldn’t afford to lose Carlton Cole, not just the fact that we went on to lose the game because of that but because he may now miss at Reading. That is a massive blow to us,” Allardyce said.
“We will appeal Carlton Cole’s sending off because we need Carlton for Reading. Losing him for three games will be a severe blow that we can’t cope with Andy Carroll being out as well.”
With Ricardo Vaz Te still out injured, West Ham’s only other fit recognised forward is Modibo Maiga, but Allardyce feels the Malian lacks the necessary Premier League experience to make the starting XI.
The 25-year-old, who can also play on the wing, moved to Upton Park this summer from French club Sochaux for a fee of £5million.
“Modibo has made an impact from the sub’s bench but we don’t think he’s ready to start a game in the Premier League as it’s a big jump from the French league to the Barclays Premier League,” the Hammers boss added.
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