Sam Allardyce: 'I don't care for speculation about my future at West Ham'
Sam Allardyce insists he is turning a blind eye to any speculation over his future at West Ham and is remaining calm about his contract situation.
The Hammers boss is out of contract at the end of the season but has already said he is happy to wait until then to open talks over extending his four-year tenure at Upton Park.
Allardyce has never enjoyed a cosy relationship with much of the club's fan-base but has won over a number of doubters with a change in style which saw West Ham start the season well.
A slight drop off in results since Christmas, coupled with a 4-0 thrashing at West Brom in the FA Cup fifth round last weekend, has seen another groundswell of suggestions that he could be replaced - but the 60-year-old is unmoved having seen it all before.
"The same way I deal with most things in the game, I don't listen to it," Allardyce replied when asked how he deals with speculation surrounding his job.
"It is not my desire to listen to praise or criticism. I like to be professional and work with the people within the football club to try and get the best out of them. I hear things but I don't take any notice of it.
"There was speculation last season same as this season, I think there always will be. It seems to me it occurs if and when you get a bad result."
After an impressive goalscoring record earlier in the season, Allardyce has become increasingly alarmed by his side's inability to find the back of the net more recently.
Cheikhou Kouyate's volley in the draw with Manchester United is the only goal West Ham have scored in their last four games in all competitions and, with club-record signing Andy Carroll ruled out until next season due to knee surgery, Allardyce has lost a key component to his attacking line-up.
Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho were paired in attack at West Brom but Allardyce believes their lack of experience in English football is the main factor in their goals drying up.
"It is their first season, he explained.
"They are not used to the level of football we play on a regular basis, this level of demand both physically and mentally
"They haven't experienced a Christmas period like we have, normally they are having a mid-season break and they don't play the games we play over Christmas.
"It takes effect on everybody, players used to Premier League, but these lads are finding it tougher and harder to get to the same level as at start of season."
Allardyce, whose side face London rivals Tottenham on Sunday, has added the signing of free agent Nene in an attempt to cushion the blow of losing Carroll.
The former Paris St Germain forward was available outside of the transfer window after leaving Qatari side Al-Gharafa in January but the 33-year-old will not feature at White Hart Lane this weekend.
"He won't be available to play because he isn't match fit yet," said Allardyce.
"He's a naturally fit player and he's not far away, I think 10 days to two weeks before he's ready. We'll monitor his progress, he could be ready for the Crystal Palace game, we'll have to wait and see. It's nice to have him here with the CV he's got and we're looking forward to working to with him and hopefully he can rekindle some of the qualities we have seen in the past.
"We've lost our goalscoring touch at the moment and we've struggled to put our chances in the back of the net. We had been fluent in that area at the start of the season.
"Obviously that is key to any team doing well and I think that is why we have drawn some games we should have won. Hopefully we find that touch on Sunday, against Tottenham our big rivals in a big London derby."