Sam Allardyce credits strikers for Hammers’ rise

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce and Andy Carroll

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Sam Allardyce admits having more clinical strikers has given his West Ham side a dimension they have previously lacked during his time in charge.

The Hammers, who are 41.00 to win the FA Cup, struggled in front of goal for long stretches of last season, with Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole often failing to remain fit for more than a few weeks at a time, at one stage prompting the boss to play without a recognised forward.

Allardyce corrected the problem by bringing in the pacy pair of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia and they have undoubtedly offered something different in attack.

The return to fitness of Carroll has given the boss plenty of options and the Englishman justified the coach’s faith by netting twice in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Swansea.

It means spirits are high at Upton Park and they will travel north to Sunderland on Saturday sitting third in the table and are the slight favourites to gain another three points at 2.58, with the draw 3.20 and Gus Poyet’s men at 2.70.

Allardyce has now acknowledged the role his strikers have played in his team’s improvement and admits finally finding players who can put chances away on a consistent basis has been the key behind their dramatic rise.

“What we’ve got this year is that we’re taking our chances more,” Allardyce told reporters.

“You play in the best way you can with the team you’ve got and we’ve never been short of creating chances.”

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