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Allardyce on... Manchester City

Filed: Sunday, 4th November 2012
By: Staff Writer

A delighted Sam Allardyce was full of praise for his team after they managed to shut out a Manchester City team featuring '150million-worth' of attacking talent. His post-match press conference for you in full, exclusively here on KUMB.com...

Sam: You must be very pleased with that performance?

Yes, I'm really pleased. Our performance today from start to finish was very good indeed. The way we started the game was bright, trying to see if we could test Man City early on and of course we did that with a fantastically-taken goal by Kevin Nolan that was a little bit unfortunate to be ruled out for offside.

In the first half we tried the best we possibly could do to put more pressure on Man City and at the end of the day, we would have to do some severe defending somewhere along the line. That wasn't so much in the first half but it certainly was in the second. In fairness to the lads, they kept on going and going; we had the odd break in the second half which caused them a problem or two.

Certainly Andy [Carroll's] overhead kick would have been a fabulous goal had it [gone in]. It was goal bound and I don't know whether Harty would have saved it. But we have to be satisfied that we've taken a point off of the champions and it really is a good day for us.

Do you think West Ham's emphasis recently on attacking football and goals got a little bit lost amongst last-ditch blocks and tackles in defence?

Well you're going to be forced back by a team that's got the quality they've got. Whatever you say about Manchester City, the front four - who all played today at some stage; Balotelli, Djeko, Tevez and Aguero - are worth about 150million, aren't they? So you're going to have to do some defending at some stage with that amount of quality on the pitch!

The more the game went on, the more we knew that Man City would try and push harder and further forward, to take more risks and try and get a result. We hoped to capitalise on that by exploiting any mistakes on the counter attack, which we didn't quite do as well as we would have liked. But in the end we've done great and limited Man City to a few chances today.

Even the Gareth Barry one that he missed would have been an absolute disaster for us had it gone in because he hand-balled it to get himself through. So not just the [Kevin Nolan] offside, had that one been a goal it would have been a real sickener - but it wasn't and I think we got what we deserved today, which was a point.

There were eight clubs talking to Roberto Mancini in the summer before he decided to continue at Man City. Is it pleasing for you to have matched him today?

Wow. That's a question-and-a-half, isn't it? No clubs talked to me in the summer so what does that mean? [laughs] And I got them promoted!

I'm just glad I'm back where I've been for a long, long time. I like pitting my wits against every manager in this league and it's been a fantastic thrill for me over the last 12 years or so at Bolton, Blackburn, Newcastle and here now to go out in the best league in the world, the most entertaining league in the world. It wasn't entertaining in terms of goals today but it was entertaining tactically, for me. Our boys set out a tactical plan that mastered the champions of the Barclays Premier League, which is great from our point of view.

Yossi Benayoun went close as well today; it was a terrific shot that looked like Joe Hart got a touch on?

Yes. It was a great ball from Mark Noble to start with into Jarvo, Jarvo to the far post and Yossi smashed the volley against the bar. It's one of those that thrills the supporters if it goes in as well. It's quality on three occasions and if it's an inch lower then it goes in. But Andy Carroll had a couple of chances as well, particularly the overhead kick.

The best bit of technique today from both sides, Kevin Nolan's 'goal' - ball over the shoulder, swivel, volley first time, back of the net - was ruled out. It's just a great shame that that was ruled out for an offside that really wasn't offside.

Does that performance today against the champions give you heart going into the tough fixtures that lie ahead?

Well it gives us a lot of hope and a lot of confidence. Today was the icing on the cake for us. We were disappointed we didn't get anything at Wigan and we've now got this hugely-difficult fixture list coming up - Man City being the first, but we also played Arsenal a couple of weeks ago.

That was also difficult, but we had a lot more chances in that game than we had in this - but lost the game. It's a really tough group of fixtures and we've started by playing the champions of the Premier League and getting a point, so that gives us great confidence going on.

The big disappointment for me is the injury list. James Tomkins ruled himself out with a groin strain yesterday and James Collins came off with a hamstring today. Joey [O'Brien], coming back, did a great job but Vaz Te, Guy Demel, Alou Diarra, Matt Taylor, Jack Collison plus James Collins and James Tomkins now is too many for us. We've got to get those lads back as quickly as we can, of course.

Roy Hodgson was here today...

Was he?

Which of your England contingent will he have been looking at?

I've no idea! That's up to Roy, not me.

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by mm
04:54PM 4th Nov 2012
''Actually Sam it was offside. Not by much, but offside all the same.''

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