Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce is hoping West Ham United can cut out the uncharacteristic mistakes that cost them dearly at Reading when Norwich City visit the Boleyn Ground on New Year's Day.

The Royals scored the only goal of the game on five minutes after a mistake from James Collins, but Big Sam is backing his players to shake off the disappointment and start 2013 with a win. Substitutes Jack Collison, Modibo Maiga and Ricardo Vaz Te could not take advantage of good chances to level the game on Saturday, which has led Big Sam to put greater impetus on his side's attacking play.

"We need to bounce back and we've got to make sure we become better at creating and taking our chances, otherwise it's going to be tough," said Big Sam. "The balls into the box haven't been given enough quality to open up a defence as everybody starts tightening up at this stage of the season.

"Points become harder to come by and everyone knows about everyone else so you can ill-afford basic errors. The team that makes the fewest basic errors wins the game. We made far too many and ended up losing it.

"kkI didn't think I would ever see James Collins make that kind of mistake again after the one at Swansea City. He's been one of our best and most consistent players from that time in the season, but he misplaces a backpass and they take advantage.

"The lads should have got him out of the mire and got at least a point and then it wouldn't be lying on him as heavy as it is now. He was distraught in the dressing room afterwards."

The Hammers will be offered the perfect opportunity to 'bounce back' when the Canaries, who sit one place above them in the Barclays Premier League table, visit the Boleyn Ground. While Collison and Vaz Te will be pushing to start the game, Kevin Nolan and Collins will be missing after picking up their fifth booking of the season against The Royals.

"We're in a pretty bad spell at the moment and to boot Kevin Nolan and James Collins got booked and will miss Tuesday's game with Norwich City.

"Too many injures have disrupted our performances and results. We've got some coming back now. Vaz Te could have been the hero and Jack Collison comes on and shows his ability. It's great their back but the blow is James Collins and Kevin Nolan missing.

"James has to get over the mistake but unfortunately he can't on Tuesday as he's suspended. The rest of the team have to get over it and start getting a few more points."

Vaz Te had a great opportunity to cap his lively return to the team with a goal, but he missed a header from three yards out. His manager felt afterwards that it could have been the turning point in the game had it bounced into the corner of the net rather than two inches wide.

"I think we missed the best chance created in the entire world of football! Overall, I think it was one point lost, you're 1-0 down and the golden chance comes with Vaz Te three yards out, he would take it to 1-1 and Reading would be bound to think 'Here we go again.' Their fans would get nervous and we would go on to try and win the game. We should have had a point but we didn't and that's down to our deficiencies at both ends.

"It was probably our worst performance for a while but even then it was one where Reading weren't going to make it easy, they wanted to defend deep and then when you gift them a goal they're going to defend with even more numbers to try and hang on to it."

The return of Vaz Te, Collison and Alou Diarra from long-term injury will certainly boost Big Sam's options and Andy Carroll could be back in training next week. With George McCartney and Momo Diame the only slightly longer absentees, the manager looks forward to the day when he can once again name his first choice XI.

"We haven't had our best team out for ages and since we beat Chelsea, our points total has diminished rather than kicked on from there. Normally when you get a result as big as that one you kick on and get more and more results as the euphoria keeps you going.

"The injuries have unfortunately kicked in and we've not been able to pick up the results we wanted to. It's about getting the players back fit and then keeping them fit, and then we'll be OK but that's got to happen very quickly now. 

"The lads I've picked have done very well and done a great job in terms of the performances they've given but not the results that we needed."