Sam Allardyce is losing sleep because of the stress and “burden” that comes with trying to keep West Ham in the Barclays Premier League.
United take on Manchester City in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final on Tuesday.
Ordinarily, for a team that has not won a major trophy for 24 years, a domestic semi-final would be something to shout about, but Hammers fans are bracing themselves for another hiding after they lost the first leg 6-0.
West Ham’s league form is of deep concern to Allardyce, as well as the club’s fans and owners, too.
The East London club slipped into the relegation zone on Saturday following a 3-1 defeat to Newcastle and Allardyce has been tossing and turning at night as he contemplates the task ahead of him.
“You lose a bit of sleep and you don’t sleep quite as well as you would like to,” the West Ham manager said when asked how he was coping.
“Saying that, you don’t sleep much as a manager anyway.”
Having been in management for 23 years, Allardyce is used to feeling the heat. He was involved in a relegation scrap while at Bolton and he also took Notts County down earlier in his career.
Neither of those clubs had a big move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, though.
West Ham will struggle to get anywhere near the 60,000-capacity level if they are in the second tier by the time they move there in 2016 and that is weighing heavily on Allardyce’s mind.
Indeed, Allardyce reckons the pressure on him now is equal to that David Moyes is facing at Manchester United
“People would think outside that the pressure on David is probably greater than it is on me, but from my point of view. I think it’s equal – not only because of now but because of the future of this club,” the 59-year-old said.
“The burden of this club is that it wants to move into the Olympic Stadium in two years’ time or so and has to have a team in the Premier League to move into that stadium.
“You have to build for that, and that’s a bit of extra pressure.”
Written by George Coomber