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Allardyce on... Middlesbrough

Filed: Wednesday, 21st March 2012
By: Staff Writer

A despondent Sam Allardyce bemoans his side lacking a little luck as they record a fifth straight draw at the Boleyn Ground...

Sam: should you have won that game?

On the balance of play yes, absolutely. There was a chance in the end... They had a couple of chances right at the end when it ended up 1-1. The centre forward just clipped the bar and the one we cleared off the line. But then Sam Baldock could have won it in the last minute with the header.

But in between that, particularly in the second half for me is when we should have seen the game out and finished it off. I think the turning point for us was a fabulous, fabulous save from the goalkeeper off James Tomkins' header. The rest of it is just about our quality of finishing not being good enough tonight, sadly - and the quality of their finish.

[It] was one of the outstanding goals of the season unfortunately for us. It went in when most of the time they'd probably flash wide. So it's disappointing again, conceding a winning position at home but it's one point more towards the total and itís nine undefeated.

We are disappointed - of course we are - and frustrated here at home. The opposition make it difficult for us but we were patient enough to wait and wait and create enough opportunities - particularly in the second half - to win it. When we got the one goal you hope everybody's going to be strong enough but when you get a winder goal like they got, unfortunately for us at the wrong time, it's something you can't control.

I thought we should have had a couple of penalties - particularly Bates' hand-ball, leaning towards it. It doesn't matter how small a part of the arm it hits on the shoulder and arm it's still a penalty, because it's going in to an empty net. Then the tackle by the goalkeeper on Matt Taylor is ignored by most people in the stadium - particularly the referee - because it's the goalkeeper who makes the tackle, not a defender.

If a defender makes that tackle it's a straight red card and a penalty but because, for some reason, the chance is missed nobody sees what the goalie does after - and that for me is disappointing. But the only thing I can work on is the lads and keep them going, keep our undefeated run going and try and win the game at Burnley on Saturday.

Five home draws on the trot...

Yes; one was against Southampton with ten men...

Is it going to cost you automatic promotion?

Well eventually, yes. You've got to turn your draws into wins sooner or later and it's too many. It's strange how our best undefeated run ends up not yielding the points that we wanted. We haven't gone this far undefeated all season but we've drawn too many, obviously. Again, it's another night when you want the rub of the green or the bounce of the ball, or you want one of your players to produce something a little bit special; I have to say Abdoulaye Faye's header was a great header.

But then when you think it's your second goal coming - which is what we needed at that time just to see the opposition off - the opposition goalie makes the save [from Tomkins' header]. I think the goalie's won Middlesbrough a point because that kept it at 1-0 and they always had a chance. Great goal from the opposition though; can't really criticise any of the players for conceding that goal because it's a fantastic strike that goes in off the post.

Teams are looking to stifle you and stop you playing, especially at home. Is there a sense that you might have to change the way you are playing?

We changed the way we play three times today. We changed the shape at half time, we changed the way we played at half time - that's when we got into the game more. Then we changed the way we played with the substitutes. Because we changed at half time we got an awful lot better and an awful lot of final third entries to see off the opposition, but couldn't find the right opportunity to do that.

Who do you look to, to make the difference?

Well, anybody! Abdoulaye Faye should have made the difference today because not only was he defending brilliantly but he scored a great goal for us. Like I said, it would have been James Tomkins who'd have turned it around. Or the referee, if he'd made the right decision in those two particular instances.

Because we've got Mark Noble, who's scored six penalties out of six [this season], we'd probably had fancied that he would score. A bounce of the ball in the right area, a mistake by an opposition player or a goal that bounces in off somebody's knee can make the difference at any given moment. At the moment the rub of the green is just not with us.

Thank you.

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by Big Bad Pev
08:43AM 22nd Mar 2012
''What a bitter bloke. A monkey could manage that squad back into the Premier League. If he fails it would be the equivalent of getting Man Utd relegated! If they don't go up in the next couple of seasons, they'll be the next Pompey.''

by J Drury
08:08PM 21st Mar 2012
''Absolute rubbish Sam. The excuses don't wash anymore. That was a disgraceful performance. I come to West Ham and expect a tiny bit of entertainment, not the long ball rubbish your team is serving up. Get a grip, stop playing your strikers out wide, and stop bleating and blaming everyone else.''

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