Allardyce: Play-off final bigger than Champions League

Allardyce: Play-off final bigger than Champions League

Sam Allardyce insists today’s npower Championship play-off final is a bigger game than the Champions League final.

Allardyce’s West Ham side will battle for promotion to the Barclays Premier League with Blackpool, with an estimated £90m at stake for the winners.

Later in the evening Chelsea take on Bayern Munich as they bid to be crowned kings of Europe, but the Hammers boss claims the main event kicks off at 3pm at Wembley.

“Saturday afternoon is bigger,” he said.

“The Champions League final is a glory game, this is about your livelihood and your status. The Champions League is a big tournament but this one is about changing people’s lives.”

Striker Carlton Cole hopes to enjoy a double celebration by firing West Ham to promotion before watching his former side lift the European Cup.

Cole spent five years at Stamford Bridge before moving across London and remains in contact with his old team-mates.

“We go first and have to win the game,” said Cole.

“And if we win the game that is one box ticked. I’ve got friends at Chelsea and if Chelsea win that is another box ticked – and a very good weekend for me.

“I still talk to Ashley Cole and we’re close. Daniel Sturridge always phones up and is looking for our results – I don’t know why!

“Will I watch it? It will depend on how I feel at the time. I’ll be spurring them on, hopefully they will do well and bring the cup back to England.”

Skipper Kevin Nolan will become the first man to lead West Ham out at Wembley since Billy Bonds in 1981, but the former Newcastle midfielder insists it is just another game.

“We’ve got to treat it as a normal game, we know the importance of it but we’ve got to do the business like we have done for most of the season,” he said.

“It’s about two teams and 90 minutes. We know Blackpool are a good side, we are not going to underestimate them.

“We need one massive push from us all to achieve what I came here in the summer to achieve, to get this fantastic club back in the Premier League.”

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