Next Game

Lusitanos v West Ham

Thursday, 09 July 2015, 18:30

Europa League Qual First Round

Upton Park

Last Game

West Ham 3 - 0 Lusitanos

Thursday, 02 July 2015, 19:45

Europa League Qual First Round

Allardyce backs Downing

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has given his backing to Stewart Downing as the winger prepares to face his former club.

Last Updated: 02/11/13 at 09:00 Post Comment

Stewart Downing: Set for Aston Villa reunion

Stewart Downing: Set for Aston Villa reunion

Downing lines up against Aston Villa on Saturday in an Upton Park encounter between two sides who are struggling for Premier League consistency.

The winger has been criticised in some quarters for underachieving after winning 34 caps for his country - but Allardyce said of his £5m man: "Other people's opinion is of no interest to me. My opinion is the only opinion that matters between me and Stewart Downing.

"Stewart Downing had a difficult pre-season where he wasn't sure where he was coming or going. Finally he made a decision on West Ham United which we were delighted with and there's very good progression and much more contribution as the more games he plays.

"The more and more quality we see on a much more regular basis. There's a settling-in period like anybody else. People divide their opinion far too quickly in this game. Real Madrid have done it with Gareth Bale, haven't they?

"He's no good and he's a waste of money and all that is coming out of there now and then he scores two and now he's a hero.

"We all know as professionals we put in the ear plugs when that sort of stuff starts happening and get on with what we should professionally and that is concentrating on ourselves and our game and not getting unfocused by praise or criticism.

"You get praise through the media brilliantly as well but that can affect you just as much as the criticism so just don't listen to it, try to keep it at a minimum and keep focused and moving forward."

Joe Cole, another former England star who has struggled with injuries, played his first 90 minutes of the season for the Hammers in the Capital One Cup win over Burnley in midweek after recovering from a hamstring problem.

"It was a big boost for us as we never expected Joe to be out as long as he was," Allardyce added.

"It was a real blow after the way he started against Cardiff and then picked up what was considered only to be a slight hamstring problem before the game against Stoke.

"It's taken a lot longer than we thought. As long as we keep Joe fit he is a massive player for us and one we look forward to using and staying fit."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Steven Gerrard targeting silverware after meeting LA Galaxy crowd

Steven Gerrard was introduced to the Los Angeles Galaxy crowd on Saturday as he watched his new side beat Toronto FC.

England Women's World Cup run makes Mark Sampson proud

Mark Sampson hailed his “awesome” England side after their win over Germany at the World Cup in Edmonton.

Sepp Blatter claims French and German leaders influenced World Cup voting

Sepp Blatter claims former French and German leaders made "political interventions" to influence World Cup voting.

Mail Box

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

Women's Success Won't Alter Viewing Habits

The Women's World Cup hasn't inspired everyone. Also in the Mailbox: a plastic's guide to Brazil, Nani regrets, tears over Henry, and The Beach Boys...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company