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West Ham boss Allardyce insists Downing will prove class

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce is confident Stewart Downing will prove his class.

He has pointed to the example of Gareth Bale, who smashed two goals for Real Madrid in midweek after being dismissed by the country's media as an "irrelevance".

Allardyce said: "There's a settling-in period like anybody else. People divide their opinion far too quickly in this game.

"Real Madrid have done it with Gareth Bale, haven't they? He's no good and he's a waste of money and all that bulls*** is coming out of there - then he scores two and now he's a hero, so we all know as professionals.

"We put in the ear plugs when that sort of stuff starts happening and get on with what we should professionally. That is concentrating on ourselves and our game and not getting unfocused by praise or criticism.

"Other people's opinions are of no interest to me. My opinion is the only one that matters between me and Stewart Downing.

"Stewart had a difficult pre-season where he wasn't sure whether he was coming or going. He finally made a decision on West Ham which we were delighted with and there's very good progression the more games he plays."

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