Premier League 'trying to relegate' West Brom, says Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has claimed the Premier League is “trying to get us relegated” after his West Brom side were told to play Newcastle at the Hawthorns on Sunday at 12pm.

Allardyce feels kick-off against Steve Bruce’s struggling side comes too soon after Thursday night’s home defeat against Everton, particularly as Newcastle have had a free week.

“We asked if we could play it next Monday and they [the Premier League] said no,” Allardyce said. “And then what do we have to do? Play at 12 on Sunday. Thank you very much, that’s really nice of you at the Premier League, helping us to get relegated, or trying to get us relegated. That’s how it is. You can ask for different dates or times but any one we asked for has been completely ignored.”

Allardyce’s anger has been heightened by the knowledge that time is running out for his 19th-placed side. “If we beat Newcastle we’re only six points away from them but, if we lose, we’re 12 points away, which would make life extraordinarily difficult,” he said. “That’s how big this one is.”

West Brom’s manager does not see the training-ground row involving his Newcastle counterpart, Steve Bruce, and the midfielder Matt Ritchie as a source of optimism. “I like disagreements,” he said. “I like people to air their views, to argue. It means they care. We shouldn’t be subservient and not speak up for ourselves if we feel we’ve been wronged. This world is getting far too pathetic when it comes to criticism. I think people make too much fuss about it – it’s laughable.”

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As a former Newcastle manager he is not surprised at the growing criticism of Bruce on Tyneside. “The only manager I’ve seen at Newcastle who hasn’t got any stick is probably Rafa Benítez,” he said. “You put Newcastle in the top half or win a cup and you’ll be a hero but, if you put them down in the bottom half, where they don’t expect to be, they’ll show their disapproval.”



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