Big Sam laments 'genius' of Bale

Sam Allardyce had no complaints with his side's terrific efforts after West Ham United were undone by the brilliant Gareth Bale.

A pulsating derby looked destined to end honours even, before Bale took aim in the 90th minute and slammed a 25-yard drive past Jussi Jaaskelainen to send Tottenham Hotspur home with all three Barclays Premier League points.

It was rough justice on a Hammers side who looked the more likely victors for much of the second half and were, at the very least, worthy of a share of the spoils.

"Bale's winner was more than a bit of quality, it was a bit of genius," Big Sam told West Ham TV. "As difficult as it is to take, you've got to admire the player. He's an unbelievable player and one that Tottenham must keep hold of. He's the reason why Tottenham are winning games and not losing or drawing them.

"The difference, without any question is one man. I'm not suggesting they're a one-man team but they are in terms of the victories. I think he has scored eight out of ten goals in the last few weeks, which has got them so many wins. I don't think any of them are from inside the box, other than a header. So it's an unbelievable record he has.

"We started the game well enough, but he pops up with the first shot that Tottenham have had and puts it in the back of the net after 13 minutes. After that we've done OK with him but he has still made some terrific runs. Then in injury time, he's 30 yards out and he has just hit this one and as soon as it left his foot, I knew it was in the back of the net. It's a really cruel blow for us, particularly after the way we came back and got ourselves in the lead."

Ultimately, Big Sam was left to rue a brilliant stop from Hugo Lloris, as the French 'keeper showed all his class to foil Matt Taylor. With West Ham 2-1 up at the time, the Hammers boss believes there would have been no way back for Spurs had Taylor scored.

"I'm not disappointed in the lads' performance," he added. "I thought it was a terrific performance against one of the top sides in the country at the moment. We were a whisker away from getting the win, and that whisker was Matt Taylor's one-on-one when it was 2-1. If it goes to 3-1, Tottenham wouldn't have come back.

"As long as we keep this performance level up from now until to the end of the season we'll pick up enough points. I'm convinced about that. We've got to pick ourselves up and get to Stoke. We've only got three games now in March and we've got to get as many points out of those three games as we can.

"It's too long a period really [with so few games], but we're going to have deal with it as best we can and make sure we're ready to give performances like this one and hopefully that will bring us enough points to move forward and up the table."