Sam Allardyce feels West Ham fans have grown to appreciate him after initial concerns regarding his suitability for the managerial post at Upton Park.
The former Bolton boss had built up a reputation for adopting a physical approach to the game and Hammers supporters feared he would tarnish the club’s identity of playing attractive football.
But Allardyce has overseen a successful period in West Ham’s recent history, leading them back to the Premier League, where they currently occupy a comfortable mid-table position.
And the 58-year-old feels he now has significant backing from the fans:
“I have felt the whole of this season to be different because we are no longer the creme de la creme, as we were in the Championship,” Allardyce told Goal.com.
“We’re backs to the wall sometimes and the supporters understand that. This season, too, our home form has been really good when it was a problem for a while last term.
“Even when we’ve lost, the crowd has appreciated what we’ve tried to do. The Chelsea turnaround was a huge booster for everybody.”
“When I knew I was coming here, I contacted a number of people who are West Ham through and through and they told me what the fans really commit to.
“They like to see somebody wearing the shirt who is committed to giving 100 per cent. Obviously, entertainment value is incorporated in that. So you’ve got to find skilful players who can create and you’ve got to find ones who can defend.”