Big Sam 'flabbergasted' by Burnley draw

Sam Allardyce simply could not believe his West Ham United side were not rewarded for their domination with an npower Championship victory at Burnley.

The Hammers outplayed the Clarets for long periods at Turf Moor, only for a succession of missed chances and two defensive lapses to left them 2-0 down at half-time.

Tactical and personnel changes saw West Ham roar back after the break, with Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins drawing their side level, only for a host of late opportunities to go begging and leave Big Sam wondering how two precious points got away.

"I'm absolutely totally and utterly flabbergasted that we didn't leave Burnley with a victory under our belts. From the very start, we had chance after chance after chance and then incredibly went 2-0 down. Even then, we had a couple of chances before half-time that we couldn't put in the back of the net.

"We slipped up defensively on a couple of occasions and they've scored two goals completely against the run of play after playing so well.

"We changed the system a bit and went for it a little bit more. The comeback was fantastic but it wasn't really a comeback because we were already there. We increased the amount of opportunities we could score from, but unfortunately we fell foul of not converting our opportunities into goals.

"We must have had four or five one-on-ones, we've hit the post and had a goal disallowed. We had 20 attempts and eleven shots on target and Burnley's total was five shots on target in the entire 90 minutes and they've scored two goals.

"Our first goal was a brilliant goal from Kevin Nolan from the hardest chance we created - it wasn't even a chance - and James Tomkins converted from a great free-kick.

"It's just incredible that we dominated possession for the whole 90 minutes and created chance after chance and still ended up drawing 2-2. We're all distraught after such a performance with such great quality, but unfortunately even when did find the net, the referee decided we couldn't have it and when we didn't the post decided to stop it!

"It continues to go on and on and we just cannot find that final way through to the valuable three points we're after. With such a top, top performance, the disappointing thing is the top line 'Burnley 2 West Ham 2'."

West Ham settled superbly, with Carlton Cole missing two chances before Marvin Bartley slalomed through to put Burnley in front. Nolan then saw a goal disallowed for a push on the midfielder before Martin Paterson ghosted in to double the hosts' advantage.

Kevin Nolan

Kevin Nolan saw his first-half header disallowed for a push

Danny Collins hit a post and Nolan went close again before Ross Wallace hit the post on the stroke of half-time.

Big Sam sent on Sam Baldock and Nicky Maynard at the break and the Hammers continued to push for the breakthrough. It finally arrived on 68 minutes when Nolan nipped in to lob Lee Grant. Two minutes later, Tomkins volleyed in Mark Noble's free-kick to level the scores.

In the final stages, Baldock shot wide before seeing his low effort saved by Grant, while fellow substitute John Carew was also denied twice by the Burnley goalkeeper as West Ham finished strongly.

"Anybody who watched the game will see what we've done and what Burnley have done," said the manager. "I've never dominated a game like that away from home. We beat Watford 4-0 and dominated the game but we dominated this game a lot more than that.

"Ask any question about what we're not doing and it's converting our chances into goals. It's going to cost us very dearly if we don't sort it out as quickly as we can.

"We can take a lot of heart out of the quality in this performance, but the bottom line is that we're down to single figures in games remaining and there is no making-up time now. Whether we play better than the opposition or it's an even game we've still got to win.

"When you dominate a game like we dominated this one, you've got to bury the opposition - 5-2, 6-3 or 6-2 would not have been a flattering scoreline for us.

"We're very disappointed and I'm sure Burnley were very grateful to hear the final whistle."

James Tomkins

James Tomkins' volley completed the Hammers' second-half comeback

A fifth successive draw means West Ham travel to Peterborough United for their game in-hand on Tuesday knowing only victory will keep automatic promotion in their own hands.

With that in mind, Big Sam has demanded that his strikers start finding the target sooner rather than later.

"The players have got to find the courage to take their chances. They have got to have the nerve, composure and professionalism to convert them into goals.

"We cannot wait any longer. We've got to put the ball in the net when we get the chances. Our conversion rate has to be a lot better.

"To be honest, I'm only saying what I've been saying all season, but it's a lot bigger now. We've had more chances than we've had all season, but our goal tally is getting less and less instead of more and more and that is the concern at the moment.

"We should have got a victory on Saturday, but we didn't get it so we know only two wins in the next two games will be enough to get us above Reading."

Finally, Big Sam had words of praise from the 1,500-plus supporters who cheered their team on from first to last in Lancashire.

"When you entertain the fans, they are going to sing, and we entertained them apart from conceding two very sloppy goals which is not like us normally.

"The performance for 90 minutes, people might try and say it was a second-half comeback, but we completely dominated Burnley.

"It's just unbelievable that we haven't won."