Filed: Saturday, 1st November 2003
By: Graeme Howlett
West Ham's miserable run without a win was extended to six games at Highfield Road this afternoon, as Alan Pardew's side yet again contrived to throw away an early lead.
You have to go back to October 4th for the last Hammers victory in any competition - and that only came thanks to a last minute winner from Don Hutchison at Derby.
Since then there have been home draws against Norwich, Burnley and Nottingham Forest, plus the shut out at Cardiff and the narrow defeat at Tottenham - followed by another frustrating afternoon today.
Like the games against Norwich and Burnley the Hammers again inexplicably threw away an early lead to leave new boss Alan Pardew tearing his hair out with frustration - and still searching for his first win, despite already having four games under his belt.
There's no danger at this point of Pardew coming under attack from the Hammers faithful - although even their patience will start to wear thin should this kind of form continue. For if truth be told, West Ham were poor against a side which, on paper, they should have beaten comfortably.
Yet again the Hammers got off to a flying start; Jermain Defoe notching his tenth of the season after capitalising on a mistake from Coventry's player/manager Gary McAllister on 15 minutes.
But once again the Hammers - including new signing Brian Deane - squandered several glorious opportunities to put the game beyond the home side - and they paid the price for such profligacy just seven minutes before the break when Graham Barrett equalised from close range.
Chances were few and far between in a poor second half, and Coventry boss McAllister was prompted to call the point for each team 'a fair result'.
But Pardew - intensely aware of the pressure on him to start getting the kind of results necessary to catapult the Hammers back into the Premiership - was far less happy about the point.
"We should have won that game - especially after having taken the lead," he told the post match press conference. "But we just didn't seem to keep the ball very well and all in all it was a bit of a mish-mash.
"Of course I'd like to get my first win as manager and this draw has now put us under extra pressure for the home game against West Brom next Saturday. The fans showed their displeasure at the end and they're quite right to do that because it should have been better today - but we'd lost Don Hutchison and Michael Carrick before the game and that was a major blows for us.
"We've had so many matches so quickly and we've lost so many bodies it's basically been a question of picking a side and sending them out there. Just look at Rob Lee - he was a signing we didn't expect to be playing in every game but he's looking like a regular for me at the moment.
"I felt we looked a bit leggy and that was probably due to our midweek exertions in the Carling Cup - but Coventry have had a week off and they looked a lot sharper than us, especially in the middle of the park which is the key area.
"But we've got a week off now - and hopefully that will do us the power of good."
The point left the Hammers in sixth place in the first division - but still just five points adrift of current leaders Wigan, with a game in hand.
The big test comes next week against West Brom, who currently lie second, four points ahead of Pardew's side having played the same number of games.
Even at such an early stage of the season that one is looking like a must win for the Hammers, are they to remain in contention for the automatic promotion places.
You can read our full in-depth match report here.
Hammers face home tie [15th Aug 2012]
Cardiff here we come! [28th Apr 2012]
Allardyce: you never know [27th Apr 2012]
Hull clash goes live [24th Apr 2012]
'Boro hand West Ham promotion lifeline [21st Apr 2012]
West Ham Utd v Birmingham City: live [9th Apr 2012]
It dozen get much better than this [6th Apr 2012]
West Ham Utd v Reading: live [31st Mar 2012]
The dirty dozen [27th Mar 2012]
comments powered by Disqus