Sam Allardyce
Allardyce given backing by club owners.

West Ham United co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan have issued an open letter declaring their support for under-fire manager Sam Allardyce.

The Hammers were eliminated from the FA Cup at the third round stage following a devastating 5-0 defeat to Championship side Nottingham Forest after Allarydce opted to field an experimental line up where he made nine changes featuring three first team debutants.

Although the club have reached the semi-final stages of the Capital One Cup thanks to a memorable win over Tottenham Hotspur, pressure has been heaped on the Hammers boss following a league run which has yielded just two points from a possible 21, leaving the club rooted second from bottom.

But in a lengthy statement released through the club's official website, joint chairmen Sullivan and Gold have handed their backing to their manager.

"Sam has been handed a near impossible task of coming through three crucial games in the space of six days with a squad of only 14 fit and available senior players," the statement read.

"This is not an excuse it is a fact. We know Sam has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League club.

We now face a Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday followed by a vital Barclays Premier League trip to Cardiff on Saturday. Despite an extremely difficult draw, we are determined to do all we can to get to the Capital One Cup final over two legs with Manchester City."

West Ham's unfortunate luck with injuries has been documented as one of the key reasons behind their dramatic decline. Influential defender Winston Reid has been unavailable since the beginning of November, while James Collins, Mark Noble and Ricardo Vaz Te are also on the injured list. Record signing Andy Carroll is still yet to make an appearance for the club since making his loan move from Liverpool a permanent one in the summer.

In addressing these concerns, Gold and Sullivan declared they will look to add to the West Ham squad once their current options return to fitness.

"Our first priority is to get our key players fit. Our record signing Andy Carroll continues to make good progress following his return to first-team training and he should be back on the pitch very soon along with Hammer of the Year Winston Reid and our other missing central defenders, James Tomkins and James Collins.

"Trust us, Andy Carroll is desperate to play and is ready to do his bit for the team and we are confident that the return of all of our injured players will lead to an upturn in our fortunes.

"Thereafter, our second priority is to bring in the new talent needed to bolster our squad in the most needed areas. January is not an easy time to do business but we are pleased to confirm we are close to securing one of our key striking targets. A defender is high on the list of priorities as well and progress is being made on that front."