Allardyce revels in Hammers win
Published 04/05/2014 | 07:27
Sam Allardyce could not have asked for any more from his players or the fans as West Ham ended a four-match losing streak by securing an unprecedented third win over Tottenham in a single season.
The Hammers boss acknowledged in his programme notes that this has been a "testing campaign", adding he can understand the supporters' frustration having failed to pick up a point in April.
That run saw the pressure mount on Allardyce, who was subjected to chants and banners during last weekend's defeat at West Brom.
"One week you are not playing so well and people sound off their disapproval, which they are quite entitled to do, like I've always said that," Allardyce said.
"But they do get behind you when they've got something to get behind. They don't stop singing, the players enjoyed being here, they enjoyed playing on this stage today, which is what we want them to do.
"We don't want to be fearful when we go out and they really gave a wholehearted performance to lift everybody today on the last game of the season. We couldn't have asked for anything more than what we got today.
"I thought it would be wonderful if we could do the treble, particularly under the circumstances as we haven't won for four games. To do it for the third occasion in our last home game and do it with an excellent performance by all the players.
"I know they went down to 10 men, but to take full advantage of that as well was a fantastic day for us, a great performance to finish the season here and send the fans home happy.
"The fans were right behind the team from start to finish because they knew the team was playing well and deserved a victory in the end.
"But for Hugo Lloris, I think we would have had more than 2-0. That is more than satisfying for us, though, against a team fighting to be in the Champions League, fighting to get in that area."
The victory in what some had called the P45 derby secured West Ham's Premier League survival but only heaps further pressure on Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood, who one bookmaker has priced at 1/16 to have left Spurs by the start of next season.
"I don't think we were outfought," Sherwood said. "The game changed on the red card.
"I thought before that we were comfortable and created the best chance of the game when Ade had a chance.
"It was always going to be a tough place to come, and when we go down to 10 men and they score a minute after it is going to be a difficult afternoon.
"Then, obviously, the free-kick goes straight through the middle of our wall, which isn't ideal, and then you've got the mountain to climb."
Sherwood had no complaints about Younes Kaboul's sending off, nor was he particularly angry with Paulinho and Emmanuel Adebayor despite the pair leaving an embarrassingly large gap in the wall that Downing duly exploited.
"It wasn't great but I spoke to them in there," Sherwood said. "I have pointed it out to them and they don't need me to point it out, really.
"They know it is an error and it obviously hurts a lot more when you see 2-0 rather than getting it in the stomach, when it hurts for 30 seconds."
Not even the inspired display of Lloris could keep Downing's free-kick out, although the France goalkeeper produced a string of wonderful saves to stop Spurs receiving an embarrassing thumping.
"Lloris was top draw," Sherwood said. "He has been top draw whenever we have played this season.
"I heard people talking after the Everton game when he got a bang on the head that he is not the same goalie any more. That is a load of crap.
"People don't know what they are talking about. The guy is a consistent performer - he has performed like that every single week.
"If he makes a mistake, it is an honest mistake and he doesn't make many."