Sam Allardyce was left harbouring mixed emotions following West Ham United's goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Norwich City.

Big Sam was happy to see his side achieve a third clean sheet in four league matches - four in five in all competitions - this season, but lamented the lack of a clinical cross or finish in the final-third that denied his team victory.

Speaking to West Ham TV, the manager saw his team start well at Carrow Road, only for Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te all to be denied an opening goal. Norwich came back strongly, with one goalmouth melee seeing Jussi Jaaskelainen make two fine saves before the break.

Into the second half and the end-to-end nature of the game continued as Jaaskelainen thwarted Simeon Jackson and Robert Snodgrass, while substitute Matt Jarvis saw one shot deflected narrowly wide and a succession of crosses come agonisingly close to producing an opening.

"It was unbelievable that it finished goalless for both sides, really," said Big Sam. "In the early stages were the dominant side in terms of chances created and the disappointing thing for us was not getting our noses in front at that particular stage in the first ten or 15 minutes.

"I didn't expect us to miss those chances, to be honest, with the way we were finishing against Fulham. The chances that fell to us on Saturday were easier than the ones we scored against Fulham.

"Norwich came back into the game and we needed some desperate defending at times to keep our clean sheet and keep them out. We then got back in the game again but couldn't get the final ball right to create more chances until Matt Jarvis came on.

"Matt had a chance on the edge of the boxes and put two great crosses in that we could have done better with. The only disappointing thing was the fact Ricardo Vaz Te, Matt Taylor, Joey O'Brien and Guy Demel didn't produce the sort of ball in the final-third to punish Norwich.

"Particularly going into the last half-an-hour when they had lost their rhythm and shape, we were playing on the break and exposing the space they were leaving. We were getting to the final-third with no challenge from the opposition but fluffing the final ball, be it the cross or the shot. That was the only frustrating thing for me in the second half."

With Jaaskelainen and man of the match Winston Reid outstanding, West Ham kept a third clean sheet in four Premier League matches played. That record has seen the Hammers collect seven points from 12 and lose just once - an error-strewn defeat at Swansea City.

Big Sam believes that defensive resilience will aid West Ham's hopes of enjoying a productive first season back in the top-flight, labelling clean sheets the 'platform' on which victories and valuable draws will be achieved.

Winston Reid

"Looking at the overall game, I think it was a well-earned point because it could have gone either way when you look at the 90 minutes. So, in saying that, a point away from when you're just starting back in the Barclays Premier League is more than acceptable.

"We started with a clean sheet and ended up with it and you have to build a platform to be a successful side. Resilience is very important in this league and we showed some really good resilience and determined defending and showed some quality football apart from the final pass, cross or shot.

"The platform to build any successful side on is to concede fewer goals than anyone else and if you do that then one goal wins you three points. Generally, if you know you have a solid defence then you will end up winning games two or three-nil because you are so confident about your defending that the opposition open themselves up to try to break you down and you punish them even more.

"It builds the confidence of everybody to know we're a solid unit and we're not going to have to score two or three goals every time we play to win a game."

Norwich had started the second half in the ascendancy, but the Hammers were able to turn the tide following the introduction of Jarvis and Modibo Maiga just before the hour-mark.

Jarvis helped lift the pressure with his running, dribbling ability and pace, while Maiga offered a willing figure to trouble the Canaries' centre-backs.

With Yossi Benayoun also appearing late on, Alou Diarra, James Tomkins and George McCartney also on the bench and Andy Carroll and Jack Collison close to returning from injury, the manager believes the strength in depth in his squad can only be of benefit going forward.

"I couldn't include Gary O'Neil on my bench today - that's how strong my squad has got. He was very disappointed that he didn't get his place on a seven-man bench but that shows the depth and the talent in the squad now. Gary will get his chance at some stage, I am sure about that.

"Andy Carroll and Jack Collison are also back at the training ground getting treatment, so there are another two players. We have a 22-man squad with talent. The talent came on today and tried to help us go up to that next level and win when the talent that was already on the field was a little bit tired.

"That's a massive thing to be having on your substitutes' bench because if you haven't got it, then you're bringing on a fresher player but reducing the talent. I don't think we're doing that. We have players who can come on and make a difference from the bench."

Finally, one player who has excelled so far this season - as he did last term - is defender Reid. Despite travelling halfway around the world following his midweek international duty with New Zealand, the 24-year-old showed no signs of weariness to produce a truly outstanding performance.

Big Sam hailed the Kiwi's display, pointing to the development he has made as a player over the past 12 months.

"I don't want Reidy to get too big for his boots but I think his growth in our team has been superb. When we had that bad run of draws last season it's because he wasn't there. He was missing because he got concussion playing in a friendly for New Zealand.

"He missed all those games and we conceded in most of those games. Winston Reid came back and we went on to win, particularly at home, our games going into the Play-Offs because he was there.

"He has now carried that form into the Premier League and shown that his all-round defending is exceptionally good and I'm really pleased for him. His learning curve in one year has been massive and he's looking excellent."

Sunderland