March 14 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is hoping scans will show that Mohamed Diame’s knee injury is not as serious as first thought but fears the midfielder will still be out for some time.
The Hammers’ injury curse struck twice during their 3-0 Capital One Cup semi-final second leg defeat (9-0 aggregate) at home to Manchester City as Joe Cole (groin) limped off shortly after half-time and Diame (knee) left the field on a stretcher late on.
Allardyce was able to name Andy Carroll in his starting line-up for the first time this season but the sight of two more players breaking down represents considerable collateral damage for a tie in which they were already 6-0 down from the first leg.
The Irons boss said: “Joe’s shouldn’t be too long. Mo’s looked more serious - and until a scan we don’t know - but [the medical department] are saying it may not be as serious as first thought.
“Still I think he would be out for a little while.”
Allardyce bemoaned his side’s defending and referee Chris Foy’s decision not to award a penalty when Ravel Morrison and Joleon Lescott tangled in the box.
“When you let [Alvaro] Negredo in with a free header in the first minute at the far post, there’s nobody else to blame but your defenders,” the Hammers boss added.
“We got a really good response off that when Kevin (Nolan) scored, but unfortunately that was offside.
“We should have had a penalty in the second half. There’s no doubt about that, but the way things are going for me, I think if one of Man City punched one of our players in the face in the box we wouldn’t get a penalty.”
West Ham’s focus now turns to their fight for Premier League survival, something Allardyce believes hinges on the fitness of his players and new signings.
Ricardo Vaz Te, Guy Demel, Joey O’Brien, George McCartney and Winston Reid are all nearing returns.
“If you give me all them fit from as quickly as possible until the end of the season, I think we’ll come out of this,” Allardyce said.
“Forty [points] is the safe zone over more than 10 years now. It’s got to be 22 points minimum for me in the last 16 [games].”
Allardyce has been trying to strengthen his options in the transfer market and was frustrated at missing out on striker Lacina Traore, who now appears set to join Everton on loan from Monaco.
Asked if he is likely to make any signings before next week’s match at Chelsea, Allardyce said: “I wouldn’t have a clue at the minute. Every time I get a new signing somebody else f****** takes him.”