West Ham V Cardiff at Boleyn Ground - Match Preview

Allardyce set for landmark game

Sam Allardyce is proud of his record as West Ham manager as he prepares to take charge of the club for the 100th time.

The former Bolton and Blackburn boss reaches his century of Hammers games as Cardiff visit Upton Park in the third round of the Capital One Cup this week.

Allardyce has endured a difficult start to the new campaign, with his team having not won in the Barclays Premier League since their season-opening defeat of the Bluebirds, but he is pleased with his overall achievements.

The 58-year-old guided the club to promotion to the top flight in his first season and followed up with a 10th-placed finish. Now he wants the time to build on that.

Allardyce said: "Obviously I'm very pleased with the record we had in the Barclays Premier League last year and the year before we were expected to do well in the Championship.

"If you look at the stats for how many teams are promoted the season after they were relegated you'll find that there are very few, around 20 per cent who actually manage it.

"We've done everything that we said we would do, not just me and the backroom staff, but also the chairman and the vice-chairman and everyone else behind the scenes.

"We set out with the plan to get promoted in the first year, we did that.

"The second year we planned to stay up and in the end we surpassed expectations and finished 10th.

"Now we've got to bring a sustainable balance to the squad which is going to keep us in the Premier League for many, many years.

"We need to grow slowly. It's probably unacceptable in today's football but we have to convince everybody that growing slowly is the right way.

"It sustains the ability to get better and better and when you do that you are then able to achieve more and you can start looking at bigger things."

The Hammers are without suspended midfielder Mark Noble for the tie after he picked up a one-match ban after being sent off for two bookable offences in Saturday's loss to Everton.

Midfielder Joe Cole (hamstring) and winger Stewart Downing (leg) are improving but are not yet ready while manager Allardyce has suggested it is still too soon for striker Mladen Petric to start.

Striker Andy Carroll (heel) and midfielder Alou Diarra (knee) are out.

Meanwhile, Cardiff manager Malky Mackay believes his side's experiences in the Championship mean they will cope better than most with any fixture congestion.

The Bluebirds head to Upton Park for a clash that will take place just two days after their gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat to Tottenham, thanks to Paulinho's stoppage-time winner.

Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has been heavily critical of his side's cup meeting with Aston Villa on Tuesday, their third game in six days.

But Cardiff's clash with the Hammers is the second of their own run of three games in six days, with a Premier League trip to Fulham on the agenda on Saturday.

Mackay is expected to rotate his squad against Sam Allardyce's team, but expects there to be no drop in the full-blooded effort he has seen in their Premier League fixtures.

"I think it is easier for us to retain that work-rate when we have a number of games as there are slightly fewer games than in the Championship, where we regularly played Tuesday and Saturday," he said.

"You now have more time to recover and we have a lot of good people here in terms of our sport science and medical people who help the players recover.

"They are a very fit bunch, they run hard for each other and that will not change over the course of the season.

"No matter what happens in terms of results the effort will not change, it has not for two years and it will not start now.

"We were terrific against a real top team on Sunday.

"We have played three of last season's top six at home and we have absolutely gone at them toe to toe and our fans have seen that and I am very proud of them and going forward I am glad to be in the trenches with them."

Striker Andreas Cornelius is set to miss out again against West Ham as the Dane tries to shake off an ankle injury suffered at Accrington in the last round.

It has been an injury-hit start to the 20-year-old's time with the club, but Mackay has reassured the B#8million forward the pressure will be off him when he returns to full fitness.

Source: PA

Source: PA