Sam Allardyce congratulated his West Ham United players on following their game-plan to the letter in Saturday's goalless home draw with Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City.

The Hammers were well-organised and defended from the front against Roberto Mancini's side. Every player did their job perfectly, keeping the expensively-assembled visitors at bay with a resolute and resilient display.

Indeed, had Kevin Nolan's early goal not been wrongly ruled out for offside, Big Sam could even have been celebrating a famous victory. Yossi Benayoun hit the crossbar, while Andy Carroll came agonisingly close to opening his account in a claret and blue shirt.

"I think tactically we were very good," the manager told West Ham TV. "You have to earn the right to play in this league, no matter who you are, and I think that the first thing was to stop Manchester City doing what they wanted to do and, from there, use our possession correctly.

"We didn't use our possession quite as well in the second half as we did in the first but we caused them real problems - Yossi's volley hit the bar, Andy's shot just went wide of the post and we scored a goal that wasn't a goal that we'll all unfortunately be talking about for a day or two. The assistant should have kept his flag down but instead he put it up.

"We then produced some last-ditch defending when it was needed in the second half, either by the goalie or the back four. We had the odd break-out and Andy's overhead kick looked goalbound until it hit one of their defenders on the back. Andy also had a side-footer from Matt Jarvis's cross that he'll be disappointed with. They might have been against the run of play, but that's what you do because Man City threw more and more men forward because they wanted to win and they left more and more gaps that we exploited but unfortunately we couldn't turn them into a goal.

"It is very satisfying, particularly after last week [at Wigan]. We've played ten games and got fifteen points and we're right in the top half of the Premier League. There are about five or six of us who have got fifteen points. There's a massive credit to the players for that performance that they gave against the champions of the Barclays Premier League."

Keeping a clean sheet for the first time in six league matches was perhaps the most pleasing thing for Big Sam, whose players kept out an attack comprising Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and former Hammer Carlos Tevez, as well as second-half substitute Sergio Aguero.

The only negative news came in the shape of injuries suffered by James Collins and James Tomkins which could put their appearance at Newcastle United next Sunday in jeopardy.

"We haven't had a clean sheet for a while so that's another plus and another bonus. We have to make up the points we lost at Wigan and we had to do it against the champions. We have done that and nicked one point back that nobody expected, so that's really good.

"We've got to go on from here now. The disappointing thing for us, other than the disallowed goal, was that James Collins picked up a hamstring injury and James Tomkins did a little bit of a groin on Friday. Thank goodness for Joey O'Brien because I thought he did great coming back in. Numbers are becoming a big, big problem for us, so we have to get these players fit and back in the squad as quickly as possible.

"Ricardo Vaz Te is coming along well but it will be ten or twelve weeks in total. If it's any sooner than that like it was with Andy's hamstring, but we've got to get him right. Guy Demel starts training this week so that might be important to us, and hopefully Tomkins and Collins are not too bad when we have them in on Sunday and see what they're like.

"Going to Newcastle is going to be a big occasion for Kevin Nolan and Andy and we want to give our best performance, not just for us but for them going back to St James' Park."

Stoke City