West Ham boss Sam Allardyce’s press conference against Watford
A FRUSTRATING NIGHT?
Very frustrating. I think we haven’t created enough quality in the chances we created or the final ball we delivered to see off Watford and nearly paid the price for it.
I think the frustrating part is we know what we want to do and we know where we want to get, but at the moment we just can’t find the cutting edge here at Upton Park.
Watford were a stubborn unit and made life difficult for us, but you’ve got to expect that. But based on the chances we’ve had and missed again it is disappointing because we were not clinical enough and then it is a struggle and it nearly ended up with us losing. We haven’t looked like that for a long time here.
At least we had the ability and the desire to claw it back to 1-1, but I really did expect us to win it from there on, especially with the nine minutes of stoppage time and the amount of pressure we were asserting on the opposition.
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They couldn’t get out of their own half, but we couldn’t find the killer touch yet again so frustrating night for us, but in the end you have to respect the point again and move on to Doncaster and make sure we get three on Saturday.
IS IT THE STRIKERS THAT ARE TO BLAME?
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One of our strikers scored to get us back in the game today, but then again some of our chances didn’t fall to our strikers. Mark Noble in the first half, Julien Faubert on the far post. Carlton Cole to be fair, when the cross came in from Vaz Te was just a sidefoot in and he completely missed it, but when the ball drops down in the box, Sam Baldock or whoever is there has got to lash them into the back of the net.
When you are shooting from outside the box you have to make sure you hit the target.
I have just had a look at their goal and I thought it went straight in, but it is typical of a night like this that they hit a speculative shot, it is actually going nowhere in terms of our goal, but it has deflected off Abdoulaye Faye and gone in off the post.
Then you start wondering if it is going to be one of those nights, but to be fair to the lads at least we came back with a vengeance again. We changed the system again, went to a 4-3-3 from a 4-4-2, got back into a winning position from where we should never have been, but were.
IT DOES SEEM TO BE YOUR HOME FORM THAT IS A PROBLEM
In the last two games, yes. But in the two games previous we drew with Southampton with 10 men and we beat Millwall with 10 men after eight minutes, so in those terms we were magnificent.
Recently we have turned that magnificent home form into frustrating results, but in boils down to sticking the ball in the net. It eases the anxiety and eases the pressure on everybody.
We go away from home, we beat Blackpool 4-1 we beat Cardiff 2-0, they could have been beaten by three or four, but what we have got to do is the same at home as we do away and be as good as clinical as we are.
It entices the opposition on to you when they are playing at home and their responsibility is to attack you and that means they leave a lot more spaces for us to exploit.
They come here and they are going to sit two banks of four like Watford did today and frustrate you. We have got to be able to cope with it and make sure we overcome it.
IS THERE A PSYCHOLOGICAL BLOW IN NOT GOING TOP?
It is a psychological blow for us because we could have won this game and gone back on top of the league and got close to our target which is two points a game. Forget the position in the league, it is nice to be at the top, but our target is two points a game.
It meant that we have won today we would have been one point off that target. If we had won this and beat Doncaster for a nine-point week we would have been there, but now we have dropped behind again.
The position in the league is not as important as getting two points a game, because I know what that means, and you know too because you have heard me say it enough – automatic promotion.
DO YOU SEE READING AS BEING AS SERIOUS CONTENDER AS SOUTHAMPTON?
Absolutely. I wish we could go on a run like Reading. They have been on the best run in the league. Maybe Southampton early doors in the first 10 games may have matched them, but Reading in the last 10. I think they have taken 33 points out of 39.
It is a fantastic run of games. Birmingham went 15 without defeat and they found that a little difficult to keep up. Brighton are back up there, so somebody will always come from the back and challenge you, what you have got to do is get back to the old boring two points a game again, you don’t have to worry about that then.
IS THERE SOME ANXIETY IN THE TEAM?
There is always anxiety. When you want to go out and win a game of football what you must not do is get frustrated with things, you have to be patient and use your abilities and your superior skills to overcome the opposition, by the way they are trying to frustrate you and you do that by taking your chances, if and when they come along and what we ain’t good at is taking our chances.
If we had Lambert in our team, we would have won the Championship already. We haven’t got one person with 10 goals yet and that is the key element missing.
We are second in the league without anybody scoring 10 so that is a magnificent achievement from the squad in terms of the lack of goal efficiency that we knew we had to show and we haven’t shown that.
We have added extra players and Vaz Te has got two now. If you look at Vaz Te he is the man for us this year, because that is 16 for him this season, he came to us having scored 14 for Barnsley. We could have done with him from the start of the season.
WILL SATURDAY BE MORE OF THE SAME?
No, I am expecting us to be brave enough and produce our best performance and win. It is never easy to win a game of football, Doncaster won at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday and they will get a massive confidence boost from that, but we know that if we can produce our best or close to our best that the result will look after itself.