Big Sam on: Hull City

Sam Allardyce spoke to the media at Chadwell Heath on Tuesday morning ahead of Wednesday night's game against Hull City in the Barclays Premier League.

The West Ham United manager was quizzed on his side's latest team news, Hull's first season back in the top-flight and Wayne Rooney's wonder goal against the Hammers.

Morning Sam, what's your team news ahead of Wednesday night?

SA: "We only have a problem with Matt Jarvis on the injury front. He came off with a tight thigh at the end of the game on Saturday night. We'll wait for him until tomorrow and then make a decision then. At the moment it's looking doubtful."

In the last seven games you had four wins and then three defeats. Can you put your finger on what you were doing during those wins and perhaps not doing so much in these defeats?

SA: "Scoring goals is the basic reason, and then ultimately not defending consistently well throughout the whole game. There have just been a few lapses in concentration, certainly at Stoke and against Manchester United that the opposition broke away and scored from. There's also been the influence of some very poor decisions by the referees in all three games. We fell foul to some of our own deficiencies and some of the deficiencies from the officials in three games on the trot, which is extremely disappointing."

Kevin Nolan said that you're not getting the rub of the green with decisions, is that something you agree with?

SA: "At the moment, yes. We've identified three times where a major decision has not been given. The first one was at Everton when Kevin Nolan got pulled down going into the box by Gareth Barry. At Stoke it was a blatant penalty, and of course we all know on Saturday night that Wayne Rooney fouled James Tomkins before he scored. Generally, Wayne Rooney wouldn't have scored from there and it wouldn't have been a significantly bad decision, but with him scoring a goal, and it was a spectacular goal, the decision went against us. The fact of the matter is that we can't do anything about that. What I've got to do is get my team defending consistently well, as we know we can with 13 clean sheets this season. We need more of a goalscoring threat in terms of where we were when we won four games on the trot, because we won by a four-goal margin in each of those four games."

You've been dragged back into the relegation scrap just that little bit more with these three defeats…

SA: "Yes, we have. I definitely never said or suggested that we were safe when we were on the fantastic run. It goes to show that the game can change very quickly in the space of three games, and to use an old adage, we're now getting sucked back into the danger zone."

You're six points clear of the bottom three still, how many points do you think you will need?

SA: "38 we'll need and we'll try to get more than that as quickly as we can. I think 38 points will be needed this year. It's such a big game on Wednesday now. Steve's (Bruce) done fantastically well this season back in the Premier League with Hull City. He's sneaked two points ahead of us with a great win against West Brom on Saturday and it's now a big six-pointer on Wednesday night. Following that we play Sunderland away on Monday night, so we're either going to very nervous by next Tuesday, or we're going to feel a little bit safer."

Mark Noble's described this as one of the freakiest and tightest leagues he's ever been involved in. Do you share that sentiment?

SA: "I agree. I've never in my long career, never experienced the ups and downs that we've experienced this season. The consistencies, the inconsistencies, the changes of the game, the way results have gone throughout the league. It still boils down to one thing at the end of the day, however difficult it's been, the one thing you must always remember is that you've got to get more points than games played first and foremost to secure your Premier League status. For a club that's in the Premier League for the second season to establish themselves and be a consistent force in the Premier League, that's very important."

How important is Andy Carroll in getting you to 38 points?

SA: "I think all the players are key. The disappointing fact for me is the players and the great run they achieved was about the squad being nearly all fully fit. If Matt Jarvis misses tomorrow we've got him, Joey O'Brien and Marco Borriello missing. Marco and Joey have been out for a while but the rest of the team have been fully fit and we haven't achieved the results which the performances warranted.

"That's the disappointment, because we knew the bad times we had in December, and January particularly, were down to the limited amount of players we had available, and the players that were having to play out of position. That was a major cause in us losing games. At the moment, we've just not got that killer instinct on the front line and because we're going all out for it we've left the back door open a couple of times and the opposition have taken advantage of that."

Do you think the pressure is starting to build on the players again, after three consecutive defeats?

SA: "I think the pressure always builds if you have a run of defeats. The anxiety when you play a game of football is felt all around the ground. The fans will be anxious, the fans will begin to get anxious again and you've got to be able to cope with that pressure. You've got to be able to cope with that anxiety and make sure you have a positive frame of mind to deliver your best. You can't let it pray on your mind, you have to go out and play as well as you can. The team have to have a great spirit and a great resilience in terms of what you want to try and achieve."

Have you been impressed with how Hull City have performed this season?

SA: "When every manager comes into the Premier League you have a fear about whether you'll be good enough. The additions Steve made and working in the markets, he has turned them into a side who in their first season look more than capable of being safe in the Premier League. He did his business before the start of the season, went out and did some business in January and that has helped again.

"Generally their home form has been the reason why they are where they are. They have a varied striking attack, he's got much more than Jelavic and Long to play with the likes of Sagbo, who have done a fantastic job in the FA Cup. He's got an array of front men that he can play when he feels necessary. He doesn't have to rely on Jelavic and Long as other players have come in and taken them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and some very good victories in the league."

You've had a couple of days to reflect on Wayne Rooney's goal from Saturday. Do you think it was as good as David Beckham's against Wimbledon?

SA: "Yes, I do. I think that David was a little further back, but Wayne's was a volley and everyone in the game knows it's much more difficult to control. It's harder to control a volley than it is to kick the ball off the ground. Tettey at Norwich ran him close on the weekend I thought."