Championship previews: Poyet says West Ham have no excuses if they don't go up & more
Published 09:11 14/04/12 By MirrorFootball
Gus Poyet has told Sam Allardyce he has no excuses if West Ham fail to win promotion.
Poyet has the chance to put another dent in the Hammers’ Premier League hopes at Upton Park today.
The Brighton boss has no sympathy for Allardyce, saying: “I think West Ham know they should go up and there’s no excuse.
"They are one of the teams that need to go up because of their strength but it’s not in their hands. Other teams are up there too.
“It doesn’t matter your style, it doesn’t matter how. It’s about winning.
“If you win, you’re successful. That’s what owners and chairmen want and that’s what you’re in the job for.”
Allardyce hit out at Poyet after he criticised West Ham’s playing style when they won 1-0 at Brighton in October.
ANDROS TOWNSEND has twisted the knife after his controversial Leeds exit by admitting he now loves being in a winning team.
Spurs winger Townsend infuriated Leeds boss Neil Warnock by ending his loan at Elland Road to switch to Birmingham in February.
The 20-year-old has helped Chris Hughton’s side to fourth with a five-game unbeaten run ahead of today’s visit by Bristol City.
Townsend, who has been loaned to eight clubs, said: “I have been out on loan a few times but this is completely different.
“When the Birmingham opportunity came, I couldn’t turn it down. I have never been involved in a promotion push and I’m loving it.
“It’s great being involved in a team that’s winning. I just can’t wait to see what unfolds.”
PORTSMOUTH could start next season in League One with a whopping £11million-a-year wage bill, writes Alex Crook.
The ruinous financial situation has arisen because the club’s top earners do not have relegation clauses in their contracts.
Pompey – £58m in debt – will drop into the third tier for the first time in 29 years if rivals Bristol City better their result at Doncaster today.
Defender Tal Ben Haim is among the players who does not have a pay cut built into his £36,000-a-week deal if the skint south-coast side go down.
Boss Michael Appleton is desperate to overhaul his squad, but must persuade the likes of Ben Haim, club captain Liam Lawrence and veteran Kanu to walk away from lucrative deals.
“If I am asked about an ideal scenario, if we are going into a different division, it would be better to have a wholesale clear-out,” said Appleton.
“That means a fresh start for everyone after all that has gone on at the football club. That is not just players we are bringing in. I am sure there are certain players at the club who either want or feel they deserve a new start.
“Somewhere along the line there needs to be fresh impetus and a clean slate.”
Doomed Pompey are nine points adrift of safety with only four games to play, but Appleton insists they will fight to the end.
“It is important we stay competitive and do everything we can in the next four games,” he added.
“Every team we play needs to know they have been in a game.”
DAVID NUGENT and Leicester are on a revenge mission at the New Den.
Nugent says the Foxes are fired up to heal the scars of their humiliation by Millwall in October when they lost 3-0 at home, a defeat that signalled the end of Sven Goran Eriksson’s reign.
And Nugent is desperate to inflict some pain on the Lions and inch City closer to the top six. He said: “They battered us 3-0 at our place so we owe them some payback.
“It remains in the back of our minds as it was one of our worst defeats of the season. We were off our game, we were terrible and there were no excuses.
“We want to put it straight. We’ve had a lot of chances to get into the play-offs which we haven’t taken, but we can take this chance.”