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2013-10-08T13:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:48:18

Big Sam happy with 'genius' Morrison

Sam Allardyce hailed the influence of Ravel Morrison after the midfielder inspired the Hammers to a famous triumph over Tottenham Hotspur.

The 20-year-old scored a fine solo goal to finish off Spurs after Winston Reid and Ricardo Vaz Te had laid the foundations for victory at White Hart Lane.

Running from inside his own half, Morrison drove at the Tottenham defence before leaving both centre-backs in his wake as he glided past and coolly chipped the ball over Hugo Lloris to cap an excellent performance.

After the game Big Sam was full of praise for the midfielder's strike.

He said: "It was a genius goal and you'll struggle to see a better one all season.

"He picked the ball up in his own, headed straight for Vertonghen and Dawson and slipped them like they weren't there, waited for the keeper to go down - a keeper who's shown how good he is at one-on-ones and how quick he is off the line- then uses his outstanding ability to dink it over the keeper.

"There's a lot of praise going to come his way, and deservedly so, particularly after that goal."

Morrison is the team's top-scorer with four goals so far this season and follows his fine pre-season form which saw him net six times.

With praise seemingly coming from all quarters for the young starlet Allardyce believes his teammates will keep his feet on the ground.

"The Kevin Nolans and Mark Nobles probably do it better than me.

"He's in the dressing room day to day with them and they're guiding him along and talking to him, and saying - you've only just started."

Whilst he may have started producing his best form for the Hammers it was a year away from the club which Allardyce feels has helped the player unlock his potential and help him force his way into the team.

He said: ""That's why it wasn't a great difficulty for me to take someone out with experience and put him in, because everyone was saying: 'He's looking like he's ready, gaffer'.

"He is that. Certainly, today. As we say in the football fraternity, the penny's dropped.

"It's dropped in his lifestyle and his attitude to everybody, his timekeeping and so on. All of a sudden there's the belief that he doesn't want to do anything but break into our first team.

"I think a 12-month loan spell at Birmingham gives time to reflect on what exactly it takes to be a player on a week in, week out basis."

A year in the Championship where he made 27 league appearances for the Blues seems to have done the No15 the world of good.

Morrison has now started the team's last five games in all competitions having previously only made three substitute appearances and Big Sam believes the decision to bring him into the team has already paid dividends.

He said: "Basically we're talking about players getting the ball to him in space as much as we possibly can.

"We saw his finishing ability in pre-season against some good opposition like Sporting Lisbon and Braga and we saw it today.

"There was talk at the start [of the season]: shall we take him out of the pressure pot position and start him in the wide position, because there's less pressure out there?

"We ended up putting Mo Diame out there and Rav in the middle. That's how much we felt he could bring to the team and he has done that."

Meanwhile, have taken a closer look at Morrison's impressive performance.

Ravel Morrison

Such was his display in an often advanced midfield role, that the 20-year-old was awarded a rating of 8.4, with only teammate and man of the match Winston Reid (9.4) surpassing the former Manchester United youngster.

In the absence of an out-and-out forward, Morrison was regularly the furthest man forward, using his pace and ball retention to threaten the opposition backline. The merit in that thinking particularly came to the fore in his fine goal, with Morrison's slaloming run resulting from a clinical counter-attack.

His goal, a fourth of the season in all competitions, points to his ability to drive at the opposition, one that has seen him average 1.5 successful dribbles this term. By comparison, Mohamed Diame (2.6) and Mark Noble (1.6) are the only players to have exceeded the youngster. He showcased this talent once again on Sunday, completing two successful dribbles in the victory, one of which culminated in his outstanding match-clinching third goal.

Morrison was also fouled twice - more than any other West Ham player - including one free-kick which led to Kevin Nolan volleying Mark Noble's set piece narrowly wide.

Elsewhere, three tackles and two interceptions highlighted Morrison's defensive contribution to a fourth clean sheet in seven Barclays Premier League matches, with the Hammers yet to concede a goal from open play on their travels.

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