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Sullivan: Big Sam key to West Ham landing Song

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan says the current team is the best they've had since he and David Gold bought the club.

There is now real ­optimism going into the second half of the season.

"This is the best side since we've been here," Sullivan told the Mirror.

"We've only been here five years granted, but it's the best by a million miles.

"I think we have all been vindicated. It was Sam who agreed to an attacking coach. It was Sam's idea to play Stewart Downing centrally - where he has been a different player.

"It was Sam who spoke to Mr Song when he had reservations about coming after last season. Then I spoke to him.

"On one occasion, it was Mr Song in Barcelona and me outside Smith's restaurant in Ongar. I was in the street on my mobile telling him: 'No, no, no... forget what you've heard. We're a different team now!

"Then we played ­Southampton and it was our worst performance of the season. He must have thought: 'I've been conned! How have I signed for this lot?'

"But then Sam changed everything and you've got to take your hat off to him. He went with two forwards, he went with a diamond and we've never looked back."

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