Hill ready to pit his wits against old pal Allardyce

Vision: I'll listen to what Sam Allardyce says, comments Barnsley boss Hill.              Picture: pa wire
Vision: I'll listen to what Sam Allardyce says, comments Barnsley boss Hill. Picture: pa wire
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KEITH Hill believes all the pressure will be on Championship high-fliers West Ham and not his Barnsley side when the two team clash at Upton Park tomorrow (Saturday).

The Reds go on their travels with five wins from their last seven games, while the Hammers, who have lost their last two, are expected to triumph on home turf.

“It is pressure-off,” stressed Hill. “It’s [Upton Park] a great stadium, the players will go out there and enjoy the game.

“Expectation is a massive thing. To get 30 points from 21 games now – nobody would have thought that we would have been able to achieve that at the beginning of the season.

“But our players have accepted what we have laid down to them and they have responded. There’s been one or two downs, but there’s been a lot of ups.”

And Hill believes the best way for the Reds to upset Sam Allardyce’s team, who are sitting pretty in second spot in the table, will be for the Reds’ loyal travelling supporters to create a “hostile” atmosphere in London.

“We don’t want to create a good atmosphere. We want to create a hostile atmosphere because the West Ham fans, like me, think that West Ham belong in the Premier League,” added Hill.

“They (West Ham supporters) won’t be patient, they don’t accept that losing to Burnley is just part of a course of the season. That full house could turn against them and that’s our plan.”

The Reds last beat the Hammers at Upton Park in the league a staggering 92 years ago and have struggled against the fallen Premier League giants in recents years, having twice been dumped out of the FA Cup by them.

But Hill is relishing the chance to pit his wits against Allardyce, a manager he is always keen to take advice from and learn from.

“When there’s a newspaper article, or he’s on TV, he’s somebody I will listen to with a keen ear,” he said. “If there’s any advice I can take, I will, but I’m very much my own man.

“He’s somebody that I’ve followed with keen interest. It’s not about Sam Allardyce the football coach, the football manager – it’s more about Sam Allardyce the organiser who has got a vision. He’s obviously done a lot of homework with respect to preparation, rehabilitation, organisation and he‘s accountable for me for a lot of off-the-field developments within football.”