Sam Allardyce desperate to give West Brom fans reason to cheer at The Hawthorns

Sam Allardyce says he is desperate to secure victory over West Ham in Albion’s final home match of the season – a game that will see fans return to The Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce
West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce

The Baggies saw their return to the Championship confirmed on Sunday when they were beaten at Arsenal.

But they still have three fixtures to play this season with back-to-back home games against Liverpool and West Ham before they end the campaign at Leeds.

The visit of David Moyes’ side will be the first time fans have been allowed into The Hawthorns since the Baggies hosted Newcastle in the FA Cup 14 months ago.

But from May 17, outdoor sports venues are allowed to welcome 10,000 spectators, or 25 per cent capacity – whichever is lower – due to the progress being made with the coronavirus pandemic.

Albion opened a ballot that will allow approximately 6,000 fans to attend the clash with the Hammers.

That ballot has proven immensely popular with the club deciding to charge a flat rate of £23 for a ticket – that’s despite Wolves charging between £40 and £45 while Villa have priced their tickets between £27 and £50.

Allardyce is determined to finish the season strong despite Albion’s relegation – with the boss saying his side will go out to win all three of their remaining games.

But the Dudley-born chief admits it would be extra special to seal a win in front of supporters – with Allardyce having never managed in front of Baggies fans will he has been at the club.

“If we are to win more game – I’d like to win them all – but if we are going to win one more I’d like it to be against West Ham,” he said. “That’s just my personal opinion, but I’d like to win that game because the fans will be there to cheer us on.

“I’ve often thought about what the home fans might have done for us in our position.

“I think they could have been the extra man when we needed them.

“I think they could have helped us to win some games that we were drawing, particularly at The Hawthorns.”

Despite relegation having been confirmed, Allardyce has promised fans the team will remain professional until the final ball is kicked.

“Can we finish the season as strongly as we can – that is the question I am asking of the players now,” the former Bolton boss said.

“Can we win as many games as we can?

“We have got difficult games, Liverpool at home. West Ham at home. And then Leeds.

“If there is one game we certainly want to win it’s West Ham at home with the fans back.

“But we have three difficult games and we want to try and win as many as we can.

“The players cannot switch off. They can’t afford to switch off, they can’t afford to think the season is over.

“They have got to be very professional to do their job right to the very end.

“I’ll be watching and looking at them.

“It stands out like a sore thumb to me if a player drops their standards.

“I expect the players to play the best level they can, if they don’t I’ll make a change.”

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