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Allardyce puts pressure on Saints
Sam Allardyce is hoping that Southampton crack under the pressure after his West Ham side took the race for automatic promotion from the npower Championship to the final day of the season.
The Hammers came from behind to beat Leicester 2-1 at the King Power Stadium to move to within two points of the second-placed Saints, who remain favourites to follow Reading back into the Barclays Premier League. But at least Allardyce's men have made the Saints earn their reward on the pitch at home to relegated Coventry on Saturday lunchtime.
"I think that under the pressure and under the circumstances it was a fantastic victory, especially as we had to come from behind - and Jack Collison's winning goal was a cracker," said Allardyce, whose side finish the campaign against Hull at Upton Park.
"We delivered after putting ourselves under pressure and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"It is a good night and we have stayed in the race, which is what we wanted, and now we have got to do our job and hope that Southampton get the jitters and Coventry can do us a favour.
"The pressure on them will be enormous to finish off the fantastic season they have had and hopefully that will put them off their game.
"The odds are Southampton will win the game - that is what everyone expects - but football is a strange game and any team on a day can cause an upset, as we have seen all season. If we get that then we have got to make sure we deliver with a good victory. But if it is to be the play-off then it has still been a good season.
"We have broke the club record for away wins this season - we broke it a while ago and have been adding to it - and we have only lost eight games all season as well. In that respect it is a shame we are not still in the race with our destiny in our own hands and I feel because of that we have let Southampton off the hook a little bit."
Nigel Pearson felt injuries hampered his side's chances but the Leicester manager acknowledged that the Foxes had been well beaten in their final home match of the season. Captain Richie Wellens limped off after 22 minutes and fellow midfielder Andy King failed to re-emerge for the second half.
"It is a disappointing way to round off the home campaign," Pearson said. "Their clinical finishing was the difference but in the end they had too much for us and I have no complaints."