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2013-11-07T10:13:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:35:11

Big Sam on: Norwich City

Sam Allardyce has spoken to the media ahead of Saturday's match against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The West Ham United manager fielded questions on his team's start to the season, the injury to Winston Reid and the form of Norwich City.

Morning Sam, we're ten games into the Barclays Premier League season, how do you assess things?

SA: "We've done alright in performance terms and been very solid and sound defensively. We've created a huge amount of chances but unfortunately due to our lack of goals we haven't accumulated the points level we should have done based on the performances we've given. We're all aware of it but we just continue to move on and try to improve that one critical and vital area.

"There's nothing else I can ask of the lads other than to try and put one or two more chances away. The rest of the games they've played they've been on top of the game and they've been very consistent, playing some really good football. We've been very resilient and it's just the final product has not delivered as much as we would have hoped and hence we've drawn a lot of games that we should have won on the basis of our performance. We will continue to strive to improve that, starting against Norwich on Saturday."

How frustrating is it for you as a manager when you look at your defensive record, which is the third best in the league, but you're just not getting the goals?

SA: "People point to the fact that we haven't got Andy Carroll or we haven't played with a front man recently but it's not just that as to why we're down on our goal count from last year. We're down on all players scoring a few more last season than they have done this season. The main contribution to us finishing tenth last season was that most players in our squad actually scored a goal. Very few players in the squad didn't got a goal. Whether that was from set-plays or open play it was very, very good from the point of view that we were in the Premier League for the first season.

"That area at the moment, as well as not having a front man scoring, is down and that's why we're in the position we are. We've done the first bit right, that's not conceding a goal, and making life very difficult for the opposition, particularly Cardiff at home and then of course Tottenham away. We've had many performances as good as the one against Tottenham this year and we've had better, like against Newcastle, but we haven't won. We haven't got the rewards we deserved, we know that and we've got to try and improve on it. That's the only area that's concerning me and hopefully we'll put that right on Saturday."

You've only won once in your last six league games, do you put that all down to not taking your opportunities?

SA: "Yes, there's nothing else. Like I said there's nothing else to concern me other than that and we've got to start putting it right as quick as we can. When you're in control of the game or you've made the chances that we have, we all know that in the Barclays Premier League you've got to make sure you take them. Our real positive is the fact that we've not over stretched ourselves and we've not fallen for the sucker punch, which is the opposition scoring and us ending up with a very disappointing, bitter defeat. We've ended up putting a point on the board and at the end of the day points on the board are ok but there's far too many of them at the moment and we have to convert one of those into a win."

Whilst we're talking about strikers, Andy Carroll, your potential solution to the problem, how close is he to coming back?

SA: "We don't know at the moment and we're just taking it week-by-week. We hope he'll be back with us very shortly but that will depend on the guidance of the people doing the rehabilitation and the specialist who's in control of Andy at the moment. We're all hoping and keeping our fingers crossed but in the meantime Carlton Cole is improving, Mladen Petric has an unfortunate calf injury which has held his match fitness regime up. It's not as if we're not creating chances, we are, but what we're not doing is converting them and that's whoever it falls to. We have to believe that if we continue playing the same way we are it will result in us scoring a goal somewhere. If we do that then we make sure we don't slip up at the other end and get the three points that we're looking for."

Norwich are next up on Saturday, what are your thoughts ahead of the game?

SA: "It's a six-pointer I would say already. They played very well in their last home game against Cardiff. Irrespective of recent results I was listening to the commentary of that game about how many chances they created and how many chances they missed. We have to make sure that we frustrate them in that area again on Saturday. If we can then take the game to them like we did against Swansea and create the chances that we created, then this time we have to be clinical and put the ball in the net."

Norwich are below you in the table, would a win against them mean more to you than beating a team that are higher up?

SA: "It's always been more important to me across the board for many, many years because these are the games that if you play your best then you've got a really good chance to win. You can play your best against the big boys, give all you've got, be very, very good and lose the game because of the quality and amount of money they've spent. These are the bigger games for us, these are the games that you have to be at your best because it will give you a better chance of winning than against the big boys."

We spoke about Andy Carroll, what's the other news with regards to injuries?

SA: "Not very good at the moment apart from that we've got James Collins back into training. George McCartney played in a Development Squad game with Alou Diarra but they're a huge amount of time away from joining the first team squad. Winston Reid's got an unfortunate injury this week which has added to the recent injuries that we've picked up on a match-to-match basis. It's a concern for us but something which we can't do anything about other than get them fit as soon as we possibly can and make sure they stay fit."

Was Norwich's 7-0 defeat last Saturday less about their frailties and more about what Manchester City are capable of?

SA: "Manchester City are capable of beating anyone. We don't take anything from the size of Norwich's defeat because last night you saw them [Manchester City] tear apart a Champions League side. I saw them tear apart Champions League opponents that they could have won 7 or 8-2 never mind 5-2. A loss is a loss, never mind if it's a big defeat. At the end of the day your mentality as a manager is, 'look, it's only three points gone regardless if you've lost 7-0 or 1-0 so you've only lost three points, let's have the right reaction and come back fighting'.

"That's what we'll get on Saturday. We'll get a Norwich City team that will go out and fight for everything they possibly can, particularly on their home ground. They'll try and get the crowd behind them and look for the result that we're all doing at the moment. I think we're all finding it harder, apart from some of the bigger boys, to win at home this season."

In regards to Winston Reid, what's his injury and will he be fit for Saturday?

SA: "No, he won't be fit for Saturday. Unfortunately he also won't be fit to travel with New Zealand for their World Cup play-off either. Our Chairman made a massive gesture this weekend by arranging a private jet for Winston to fly him straight to his team so he could get there at the time they set. It was a magnificent gesture which unfortunately won't be needed now. It's a shame for us and it's a shame for New Zealand because Winston has been one of our most consistent defenders since we've been back in the Barclays Premier League.

"We have a replacement who is fit again that means the injury isn't causing me as big a concern as it was when the injury first happened. James Collins is fit. James Collins was very unfortunate to be left out at the time because defensively we've been superb this year, so James being the replacement is a big bonus for us. He and James Tomkins is the area I can't afford any more injuries to. Everywhere else we're reasonably coping with, but certainly we need James and James to stay fit and well over the next period."

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