West Ham striker angry at missing his two chances against Palace

West Ham’s Sam Baldock was making no excuses after his impressive cameo performance against Crystal Palace on Saturday ended with him missing two excellent chances to win it for the Hammers

West Ham striker Sam Baldock is in the business of scoring goals. He may strive to outpace his marker, to jink into the box and set-up chances for his team-mates, but in the end he is judged on whether he can hit the net.

And so his two misses in the goalless draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday hurt the former MK Dons striker hard and anyone who suggests that he had done all he could is likely to be greeted by some stern words.

“No it’s not all I could have done, of course it’s not,” said the diminutive 22-year-old speedster after the 0-0 Upton Park stalemate. “You can score them and with the second chance I back myself nine times out of 10 to score it.

“Maybe there was a bit of rustiness there I don’t know, but I should have sent it further wide of the goalkeeper.”

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Baldock made an impact on proceedings just seconds after coming on as a substitute in the 73rd minute. First, he darted away from his marker on the left edge of the area only for keeper Julian Speroni to save with his legs by the post.

And then came the best chance of the whole match for either side. On 76 minutes, Carlton Cole’s delightful reverse pass put Baldock in, but his shot was too close to the keeper and blocked to safety.

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“The second one I was trying to guide it into the corner,” explained Baldock, who has five goals to his name for West Ham, but hasn’t scored since November 5. “I didn’t connect with it cleanly, though to be fair if I had connected with it worse it might have gone in, because he had already started falling.”

Baldock arrived in the summer in a �2million deal, but he has been hampered by manager Sam Allardyce’s preference for playing just one striker and now by the arrival of Ricardo Vaz Te and in particular Nicky Maynard to add to the competition.

“I take all that as it comes,” he insisted. “Obviously I have been frustrated and everyone around the place has seen that. But I am not going to let it affect me and when I do get the chance to play, I am going to try and grab it.

“The players we have brought in has only added to the quality we have got in the squad and hopefully it is going to help is towards our aim of winning the league.”

Baldock, of course, wants to be a part of that, and with so many games to play in March, he is hopeful that his performance on Saturday will help to earn him that chance.

“I think what I have got to do is impress the manager in training and on the pitch and hopefully I have impressed him enough against Palace so that he will bear me in mind a bit more next time he picks a team,” said the West Ham number seven.

“Everyone knows that the March period is really busy and that is why we have got such a big squad.

“I think everybody is going to be needed and everyone must be trying their best in training to be sharp because you never know when you are going to get the call.”

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