Big Sam fears rampant Royals as Hammers wobble
Published 11:59 08/03/12 By Neil McLeman
Sam Allardyce has admitted Reading are serious contenders for automatic promotion after winning seven straight games.
Brian McDermott's side are now only two points behind the second-placed Hammers after the top two were both held to home draws this week.
Leaders Southampton shared the points with Ipswich while West Ham needed an 87th-minute equaliser from Ricardo Vaz Te to salvage a draw with Watford.
Allardyce said: "Reading are as serious contenders for automatic promotion as Southampton now. I wish we could go on a run like Reading - they have had a the best recent run in the league.
"It is fantastic run of games. Birmingham went 15 games without defeat and found that a little difficult to keep up. Brighton are back on track. Somebody will always come up from the pack and challenge you.
"What you have got to do is get back to the old boring two points a game and you don't have to worry about that then."
West Ham are now unbeaten in six Championship matches but after picking up 65 points from 34 games, they have fallen behind Allardyce's promotion blueprint of two points a game after missing the chance to go back top of the table on Wednesday night.
"It is a psychological blow for us because we could have gone back top of the league and got closer to two points a game which is our target," the Irons boss continued. "Forget the position in the league - our target is two points per game.
"The position in the league is not as important as getting two points a game because I know what two points a game gives us: automatic promotion."