Monday 23 April 2018

Big Sam frustrated by Hammers loss

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was frustrated as the Hammers conceded late on to lose to Everton
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was frustrated as the Hammers conceded late on to lose to Everton

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was in no mood for sentiment after Romelu Lukaku earned Everton a last-gasp 2-1 Premier League win in potentially his final home match in charge at Upton Park.

Stewart Downing's strike was cancelled out by Leon Osman before Lukaku extended his remarkable record of six goals in six games for Everton against the Hammers with a stoppage-time header.

It could be next Sunday's match at his former club Newcastle is Allardyce's last as Hammers boss.

But the 60-year-old insisted he took no time to soak in his surroundings for possibly the final time with his contract set to expire and talks on hold until the end of the season.

"I'm frustrated with the team and the result. I'm not worried about my position," Allardyce said.

"I'm 60 years old, I don't have to worry about my position any more.

"At the moment I'm still here, I'm still going to get the team ready for next week.

"The owners decide how they want to go forward and I wait for them. It's as simple as that."

Allardyce pointedly described the contest as "entertaining" and talked up his record in four seasons as boss, which included earning promotion to the top-flight and steadying the Hammers in mid-table.

"I don't think I need to prove what I can do as a manager," he said.

"It's four outstanding seasons. Only threatened with relegation since we've been in the Premier League for about six weeks, last December (2013) through to mid-January (2014).

"My average finish in my entire career in the Premier League is 10th. And finishing in the top half in about six seasons out of the 14 seasons I've been there.

"If you want to know what I do as a manager, have a look at that."

Allardyce thought his side, who are now level with Everton in 10th with one game to go, had managed to stop Lukaku, but the Belgium striker popped up with the winner.

"Unbelievable. I thought we'd done it, finally at last," Allardyce added.

"He hadn't caused us that many problems, but finally he was there to finish us off."

Everton boss Roberto Martinez said: "He (Lukaku) has a big-game mentality in terms of always being switched on, waiting for the moment to give us the three points."

Despite the loss, West Ham's chances of qualifying for the Europa League through the fair play standings improved as Everton were shown four yellow cards to their hosts' one.

"I'd have sooner had four bookings today and won 2-1, rather than have one booking and lose 2-1, believe you me," Allardyce added.

Martinez said: "You don't start the beginning of the season hoping to finish top of the fair play table.

"To get into Europe or not is something that is not in our hands. If it comes our way we'll embrace it."

Allardyce bemoaned the failure of referee Kevin Friend to award a first-half penalty, believing Seamus Coleman blocked an Aaron Cresswell cross with his arm.

"A blatant handball," Allardyce said.

"(It) is a big problem for me when they miss such easy decisions."

But the Hammers boss had no complaints with the equaliser.

"It was a wonderful goal from Osman," the Hammers boss added.

"His take on the first touch was absolutely brilliant and his volley was outstanding. If somebody like (Diego) Costa had done that, or Robin van Persie, everybody would be crowing about it."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport