Sam Allardyce says he does NOT hold a grudge against Newcastle United.
Allardyce’s West Ham United side could relegate his former club at St James’s Park on Sunday.
It’s been a long time since we parted company. For me, looking back is not what I am really aboutSam Allardyce
The 60-year-old was sacked by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley seven years ago.
But Allardyce – who could part company with West Ham next week – insists he is only motivated by a desire to get his team to the 50-point mark on the final day of the Premier League season.
“It’s not about Newcastle for me,” said Allardyce.
“Some people have suggested I am all up for winning to try to send them down. I want to win it for West Ham because that’s where I work. I want to finish with a win away from home and finish with 50 points.”
When it was suggested that it was only “human nature” for him to want to win the Newcastle game more than others, he said: “It’s too far down the road for any of that stuff.
“It’s been a long time since we parted company.
“For me, looking back is not what I am really about. Since Newcastle, I have had a fantastic time at Blackburn Rovers and a fantastic time here since then, which is nearly seven years. Time flies doesn’t it?”
Newcastle haven’t won a game since late February.
And Allardyce says he is baffled by the club’s poor form under head coach John Carver.
He said: “I’m not sure they’ve played that poorly.
“The ultimate situation is, is that you can play as well as you like, but if you don’t wins you get put under severe pressure. Wins can boost confidence but a couple of defeats can destroy it.
“As a manager, that is the tough side of the game, trying to restore the confidence.
“That has been a hugely difficult task for John. He’s a great guy, he is Newcastle through-and-through, he loves the club from top to bottom.
“But the players haven’t done what they should have done for him and themselves. That happens, surprises happen at this level, that’s why it’s the best league in the world.
“Apart from the top boys, we can all be vulnerable to relegation at some stage.”