Allardyce hurt by Phoenix defeat

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

Sam Allardyce admitted to being disappointed by this morning's 2-1 defeat against Wellington Phoenix - but insisted that fitness remained top of the agenda.

The Hammers went down by the odd goal in three at Eden Park this morning after two dreadful defensive lapses helped the home side take a two-goal lead, before new signing Mauro Zarate finally gave the travelling fans something to cheer about with a lovely curling effort.

And whilst he admitted to being unhappy at losing the game, Allardyce maintained that continuing their efforts to regain full match fitness in time for the start of the 2014/15 Premier League campaign was the ultimate goal for his squad.

"We're disappointed with the first half performance when we were caught cold by the Phoenix," he told "They showed a great attitude and played at a tempo that we struggled to keep tabs with - and that's where we lost the two goals.

"We are finding our fitness with each game but we certainly didn't find our standard, whereas the Phoenix hit their standard and they competed as we expected them to. They shut us down high up the pitch exceptionally well.

"We're 20 days into pre-season and what matters is getting the players ready for 16 August. I've won every pre-season game in the past and lost the first three or four games in the league, and not won a pre-season game and then not lost the first eight or ten games of the season!"

That's perhaps just as well, given that his side have failed to record a win against Stevenage, Ipswich or Phoenix in pre-season so far. However Allardyce did admit to being rather more concerned about a lack of quality exhibited by his players.

"It's a disappointing result, but it doesn't make a lot of difference," he surmised. "What is important is our level of performance, what we are as a team, and our technique levels. That did worry me because our technique levels were way down on our standard, so I was disappointed about that.

I can understand that we were fatigued with the way we've been working, but not the lack of technique on occasions. The players have to realise we didn't compete well enough, first and foremost. Any game of football you play, anywhere in the world, you've got to earn the right to play."

Visit to read the interview with Big Sam in its entirety.

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