Big Sam pulls no punches

Sam Allardyce admitted his West Ham United team had not performed well enough in their 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Wigan Athletic.

A slow start at the DW Stadium saw West Ham fall a goal behind in the eighth minute, although Big Sam felt Ivan Ramis had impeded Winston Reid before lashing Jean Beausejour's corner into the net with an unstoppable volley.

At half-time, the manager demanded an improvement from his side, only for Wigan to double their lead within two minutes of the re-start. Jussi Jaaskelainen's clearance fell to a Latics player and when Shaun Maloney laid the ball into the path of James McArthur, the midfielder had the freedom of the penalty area to lash past the Finn.

To the Hammers' credit, they did rally late on, with James Tomkins seeing his volley deflect off home skipper Gary Caldwell and onto the face of the crossbar. The No5 then found the net when he headed in George McCartney's left-wing cross, but by then the clock had already ticked into the 93rd-minute and there was next to no time left for the visitors to fashion an equaliser.

"I would say that in terms of performance levels, there just wasn't one," said the manager with typical honesty. "The terribly disappointing thing is that we came with a lot of anticipation and were building up ready for another big game after a great victory and second-half performance last week, then went out and basically gifted the game to a team that had not won at home all season.

"We didn't really put any opposition up against them and the disappointing thing is that our level of performance was such a surprise to me - not just one or two players, which can happen in a game of football, but most of our outfield players just didn't perform, particularly in possession, to the level we know they can play at.

"Because of that, we never got any momentum going forward and, because we kept giving the ball away, the game was always a struggle from start to finish."

While he admitted his team had not reached the standards he demands, the manager felt the Hammers could still have got something out of the game if they had scored a few minutes earlier.

"We scored at the end but by then it was too late. We needed a goal a little sooner and that might have got us back in it because it would have got Wigan's nerve-ends twitching because they had not won a game at home, but we never did that.

"We had a couple of chances and didn't score and finally when we did it was far too late."

Concentrating on Wigan's goals, the manager said there was a case for disallowing Ramis's opener for a foul on Reid by the Spaniard.

"You could look at the first one and say that it's a foul because Ramis pushes Reidy away. It is a hell of a volley, but there is a foul committed on Reidy and had he not pushed him away he might have got a bit closer. The volley was so good, though, that he might not have stopped it.

"The second goal was the worst one for me. We had just had the players in at half-time and told them 'We need to get the ball forward with some quality into our front three' which we had decided to play with in the second half.

"If you look at it, we look at playing the ball forward then turn and give it to the centre-half. He then looks to play the ball forward and turns around and plays it to the goalie. The goalie miskicks it and it comes into our box. It bobbles around and we probably should have cleared it, then it goes to McArthur and he puts it in the net.

"What were the players thinking about? What was the problem? Hopefully it is a one-off, but it was really disappointing - not just the result but the way we performed."