Allardyce eyes reinforcements

Sam Allardyce has a shortlist of 25 players as he looks to bolster his injury-hit West Ham squad during the January transfer window.

He is currently coping without eight first-team players, while suspensions to Jack Collison and Joey O’Brien have also made things tough.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9, he said: “There are about 25 names on my pad already at the minute.

“It is important to sift through the information we have and try to make the right choices as quickly as we can.”

He added that the club were hoping to sign at least one player as quickly as possible when the transfer window opens.

The West Ham injury list includes David Bentley, who is out with a long-term problem, while Ruud Boffin, Gary O’Neil, Henri Lansbury, Guy Demel, Matt Taylor, Winston Reid and Sam Baldock have also been struggling with their fitness.

With Collison and O’Brien also missing for Saturday’s victory over Barnsley, Allardyce pointed out that he was missing half his first choice players, something which will no doubt have an impact on the best football odds.

He explained that this was making it very difficult to cope and that he was having to pick of formation and system based around the players he had available rather than being able to drop players into his preferred way of playing.

Despite this, the Hammers were able to keep up the pressure on league leaders Southampton this weekend as they carved out a win against a Barnsley side who had been on a good run of form.

With Southampton only able to draw with Portsmouth on Sunday, West Ham are just one point off top spot.