Allardyce defends credentials

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce bristled at suggestions he is not the man to lead the London club forward.

Allardyce led the Upton Park outfit to 13th in the Premier League this campaign, ensuring they will play a third-straight season in England's top flight.

But the 59-year-old copped plenty of criticism in the closing stages of the season, as West Ham lost five of their last six matches and fans started to voice their concerns over what they perceived to be a poor style of football.

Speaking after West Ham's final-day defeat to champions Manchester City, Allardyce underlined his credentials.

"If you are a manager, this is the highest level in the world, and I have competed at this level for many, many years," he said.

"There's only Arsene Wenger has competed at this level longer than me.

"I know how to manage in this league and I know how to turn teams into better teams than when you first take them over, so there you go.

"I find the game strange. I think the volatility of this year's game has been spread across the board by the amount of sackings of managers throughout the Barclays Premier League. I think 10 have been changed already and I don't think it has ever been 50 per cent in one season, and if another goes, who knows, it will be more than 50 per cent.

"It's not a very secure industry but it's one we all love and enjoy doing.

"We (West Ham) have had no real threat of relegation for a while and we have done the job after our difficulties in December and January.

"We have won seven of 15, nearly a 50 per cent win rate and we have 14 clean sheets.

"The lads have withstood the pressure and we are established in the Premier League for the second season on the trot, exactly where I was asked to get us to be. Statistically, year three is better but that depends if you can improve your squad."