West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has urged his side to reward their fans’ loyalty by continuing to improve their home form.
Allardyce’s team sit second in the Championship as they look to secure immediate promotion back to the Premier League. That strong position has been achieved despite their patchy form at Upton Park.
On Saturday night, they host Derby with another crowd of around 30,000 expected and Allardyce is keen to repay their loyalty.
“The support is superb,” he told West Ham’s official website. “It goes without saying that West Ham’s supporters are one of the big attractions of the football club.
“Throughout the year, it has a hardcore support, irrespective of what division they are in. They love the club so much they want to turn up and support it.
“The most important thing is to deliver what they want. They want winning football, they want to go home happy at the weekend, see the team win a game of football and try and win the right way as always.
“We are doing that at the moment. If I can label any criticism at the players regarding the fans is that at home we haven’t quite delivered for them as well as we have away from home.
“At home we have had good performances lately and we want to continue that against Derby on Saturday and give the supporters what they want. That is to go home at the weekend and wake up the next day delighted to have watched their team win.”
Matt Taylor returns to the Hammers squad after a calf problem. Joey O’Brien (hamstring) could also return at right-back while fellow defender Guy Demel (hamstring) is fit and pushing to be included in the squad.
Winston Reid (shoulder), Gary O’Neil (ankle), Henri Lansbury and David Bentley (both knee) are still out.
Derby could have James Bailey back after a long-term ankle problem.
Theo Robinson has joined fellow forwards Nathan Tyson (groin) and Steven Davies (fractured skull) on the casualty list with a hamstring injury.
“The good news for Theo is that it isn’t a fully-blown 6-8 week injury, but it is one that’ll keep him out for a fortnight or so,” Rams boss Nigel Clough told Derby’s official website.
“We’ve been delighted with his progress this season and he will be missed.
“The biggest compliment people are paying Theo at the moment is saying how much he has improved this season.
“He’s dealt with the competition for a place in the side, performed well and scored a few goals too.”