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Allardyce on... Wigan Athletic

Filed: Wednesday, 26th September 2012
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce held his hands up in last night's press conference - which we bring you exclusively in full - and admitted he got it wrong on a night when West Ham suffered only their second home defeat of 2012...

Sam: the first 25, 30 minutes looked good but then what happened?

Well you don't have to be in my position to see what happened; we couldn't defend a fish supper could we? There were so many howling errors from our defenders in all four goal situations; it was comical in terms of what they did. That made life extremely easy for Wigan after we made life very difficult for them at the start by doing the right things. It was a super goal to get us off the mark.

You take a massive risk when you're in my position when you make so many changes. You've got to have a look at what your squad looks like and you've got to look at some of the young'uns who have been playing well. Unfortunately tonight, from 15 minutes on, we weren't good enough. Our defending just wasn't good enough and then, in the end, we've got beat 4-1.

It's very disappointing for me to have to sit there and watch that because I didn't expect us to defend so poorly. I don't really want to say any more than that because that's exactly what happened tonight - just really, really poor defending and all the good work we might have done with the ball meant nothing in the end.

Do you regret making so many changes?

I don't regret it but I'm bitterly disappointed and upset by an embarrassing defeat. That's what it was; am embarrassing defeat playing at home. But it tells me about the players I've got, doesn't it? That means they can't come knocking on my door saying "I should be playing" after a performance like that, can they? They've got to take responsibility for their own performances and when they get the opportunity, like they did today, they need to perform to their level and make life easier for me to put them in the team when we need to.

There was disappointment before we started the game that I couldn't play Alou Diarra, who picked up an injury, nor Yossi Benayoun as that would have made it a lot better today. They needed the game but unfortunately through Yossi's religious beliefs and Alou picking up an injury...

[Allardyce interrupted by tannoy announcement that Mr Moon is in the ground]

He'll leave in a minute! So... I can't even remember where I was? [laughs]

The fact that you moved McCartney to the middle suggested that you were unhappy with the way things were going?

Yeah, because Danny - a young man who's still gaining experience - has learnt a lesson tonight. We moved him back to left back and put a bit more experience in the middle which was alright in the second half, because it never really looked like they were going to score again until we gave a stupid penalty away. We were hoping that we could make the game interesting going into the last 20, 25 minutes by scoring a goal - but when the opposition are 3-1 up they can sit back and defend in numbers and that's difficult to break down. It's a disappointing night all round.

You haven't left many fish suppers unguarded; that was only your second home defeat in 2012?

It is, yeah. I have to bear the brunt as manager for making a lot of changes but I needed to. I would like to have been sat here in a much better mood praising my team for its efforts but unfortunately I can't defend them today in any way, shape or form. I can take a bit of joy out of blooding a few youngsters and having the opportunity to test them at this level as they have got good ability and hopefully that will develop over the future.

Was this the most disappointing result for you since coming to West Ham?

No, no. The Reading result last season was more disappointing for me than this, when we had the chance to beat them which would probably have seen us finish in the top two. But it's a disappointing performance and a disappointing result. It's very upsetting for me but I have to take it on the chin because I picked the team, so it's my fault.

Do you intend to send out some of your youngsters on loan?

Well the difficulty about going out on loan is that we've started this new under 21s development league so I have to keep enough players for Ian Hendon to play in that league. So letting them out on loan? It might be one of the restrictions that we might have to look at in the future. I have to leave Ian with enough players to actually play in that team and we are doing very, very well at that level which is always very good to see. But that can only develop them so far so ultimately; if not the first team then a loan is the next step for them. We'll eventually let some of them out on loan.

Nearly 26,000 people turned up tonight and the Capital One Cup is often the game where you get poor crowd figures - but a fantastic crowd tonight...

It was a great crowd because the owners made it cheap enough to make people want to come out and watch it, but they'll go home disappointed like I am disappointed. At the end of the day I can't defend me and I can't defend the team today; they've let the supporters down, there's no doubt about that and we should have given a better account of ourselves.

So I've got no excuses and neither have any of the lads who played tonight. They should have given a lot more value for money than they did but they haven't. We have to move on and make sure that we send them all home happy on Monday night when we get a result against QPR.

One positive point was Mark Noble signing a new deal?

Yes, I'm very happy to have that sorted. He's a big signing for us and a lad who's born and bred West Ham. As we continue in the Barclay's Premier League there's not too many home grown players developed today. We've got Mark Noble tied up now who's home grown, we've got James Tomkins and hopefully we'll find one or two more as time goes on. But we're really glad he's signed his contract.

How bad was the injury to Gary O'Neil?

A bad knee; he'll have a scan to assess the extent of the damage.

Did he go over or did he get a kick?

No, he got a kick. You don't know whether the kick has opened up the joint; rather than just a bruise there might be more damage but we won't know until we get the results.

Thank you.

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by Frank Bartlett
04:30PM 30th Sep 2012
''A severely understrength team for the Capital One Cup game against Wigan told everyone that Sam is in no way interested in this competition. Having known that previously, I wouldn't have bothered making the journey to go and watch it. We were like eleven lost souls chasing shadows.

West Ham have to realise that we fans haven't seen a trophy since 1980 except for winning the play-off against Blackpool a couple of months ago. Big deal. Our Club needs some credible silverware in the cabinet to give the long-suffering fans something to cheer about. ''

by Peter Jupp
03:25PM 26th Sep 2012
''I was at the match on Tuesday, I wouldn't mind if we lost to a better team but the fact was that we just were NOT interested.
Why bother entering the competition if the team you put out team aint bothered weather you win it or not!?''

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