Allardyce on... Sunderland

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 24th September 2012

Sam Allardyce was a relieved man after Kevin Nolan's injury time equaliser earned West Ham a point - yet disappointed that it took his team so long to hit the target...


Sam: the team fought right to the bitter end and got what they deserved in the end?

Don't you think we deserved more than that on the balance of play? I thought that from start to finish we were the dominant side and created far more chances than the opposition did.

Because we didn't capitalise on the chances we created by having enough players showing a clinical type of finish either with the head or with the foot today we've ended up having to be satisfied with a draw rather than a victory. So we are relieved and happy that we've got a point, because irrespective of who was the better side up to the 90th minute we were still 1-0 down. But Kevin Nolan scored a fantastic goal for us and could have scored three or four today with the opportunities he got.

So we're relieved that we got a point and continue undefeated [at home] but we are disappointed - and will wake up disappointed tomorrow knowing that we really should have won the game on the chances that we created. But we didn't and the point is, at that late stage, something that we're happy with. But overall we're disappointed that we didn't win.

Kevin Nolan gets some vital goals, doesn't he?

Yes. I thought his shot in the first half was going to be a goal because I was turning away but [Simon] Mignolet pulled off a brilliant save. Sunderland had four attempts at goal today in the entire 90 minutes; that was it and I think that shows the dominance of play that we created.

But our achilles heel was our finishing - it wasn't good enough - and that made us struggle right to the very end of a game that we dominated. From a manager's point of view I have to be concerned about that, point that out to the players tomorrow and then move on to the Wigan game on Tuesday night.

But we have continued our very good run of undefeated matches at Upton Park; I think that's eight wins and one draw and we've only conceded two goals in the last nine matches - the back end of last season and the start of this. So we've got to continue that and hopefully we can continue to play like this but convert more chances than we create.

It must have been a disappointing goal to concede?

Yes; it came from a bad pass by ourselves and we played it straight to the opposition in our half. If there's one thing that this division does more than anything else, it punishes you for mistakes - and we got heavily punished by a player who is obviously turning out to be a fantastic goalscorer for Sunderland.

He didn't have another chance in the entire game, did he - but the one he did have he stuck in the back of the net. From Martin [O'Neill's] point of view he's justifying the sort of money he paid for him already and we nearly paid the price for that today. But it was a spirited comeback; lots of chances created; lots of excitement in the opposition's box; lots of frustration all around but a bit of joy in the end.

You talked about strength in depth and the two substitutes played such a big role in the comeback?

I think strength in depth is going to be very important for us going into November and December in this league and from our point of view, even though we've had a relatively kind group of fixtures to start our campaign in this league. I think we're looking comfortable and the players who've been here before know what it's all about. The experience that they've got will only stand us in good stead, hopefully, as the season goes on. The squad should only get better from hereon in once it gets to know each other more and more.

Substitutions play a big part in every manager's life today. If you don't make them you're useless; if you make them and they don't have an effect you're useless, again. If you put them on and they work? You take all the praise... [laughs]

Take the praise!

I will do! Thank you.

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