Manchester United 'pretty scary' this season – Allardyce

Fergie checks his watch as Big Sam looks on. Photo: PA

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce feels it has been "pretty scary" to see Manchester United's dominance of the Premier League this season.

The Red Devils could stretch their lead at the top of the table to 18 points with victory at Upton Park tomorrow, which would leave them within touching distance of the title once again.

Allardyce believes the way Sir Alex Ferguson's men have gone about wrestling back superiority from rivals Manchester City, spearheaded by the goals of £24million striker Robin van Persie, has been awe inspiring.

"I think you have to say the (United) team is as good as it has ever been because nobody normally wins the title so easily and by so big a margin, or has this much of a margin at this stage of the season," said Allardyce.

"It is pretty scary what total they might actually finish with.

"Manchester United have been outstanding and it is been about how their squad rotation has been Sir Alex's masterpiece as usual, about playing the right team at the right time.

"I suppose you could say that because they got knocked out of the Champions League a little sooner than usual and because they got knocked out of the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, it has given them the strength and energy to be what they are in the Barclays Premier League this year.

"They have not had the normal focus on three or four competitions almost to the end, the focus has come on the Premier League and they have just breezed it.

"They have just gone 'bang' and everyone else can't get near them."

Despite the difference in class between the two sides, West Ham have pushed United in all of their meetings this season - coming within moments of knocking the Red Devils out of the FA Cup third round at home in January before Van Persie dispatched a brilliant equaliser deep into stoppage time.

"We will need to be on our best form, as always, if we are to get anything," said Allardyce, who has defensive problems tomorrow with injury to James Tomkins.

"We have run them close three times this season, so we can give as good a performance as we gave in the last three (games)."

While West Ham may well not get anything out of tomorrow's match, with 38 points they should just about avoid being dragged into the scrap for survival over their final half-dozen games.

However, Allardyce said: "With all the bottom sides seeming to be picking up more points now than they have done for the rest of the season, I would say we are still another couple of points off being absolutely safe."

The Irons, though, also remain within striking distance of the top half, which would represent a remarkable achievement from Allardyce's squad on a first season back in the top flight.

"We have got four home games and two away, so we have an opportunity (to get into the top 10), but I think we are going to have to win three and draw two out of the last six," he said.

"Manchester City away and Everton away are tough, tough games as well as Manchester United at home.

"In fact they will all be tough, even Wigan who are now in a position, because of being in the FA Cup final, that they have games to catch up and points to gain on others.

"That puts the pressure on them, so they will all be really tough matches but hopefully we can win a couple and see where we go."