Manager on Monday

The manager will continue to attack when Stoke City visit the Boleyn Ground on Saturday

Sam Allardyce is determined not to alter West Ham United’s attacking philosophy in the pursuit of points following Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Leicester City.

The Hammers went down to Andy King’s later winner in an enthralling contest at the King Power Stadium and, while the manager was upset that his side did not put the game to bed earlier, he had no complaints about his side’s application. After creating – and missing – a number of clear chances with some impressive build-up play, much of the talk in the post-match press conference was about whether a more defensive-minded approach could be adopted to try to secure games.

“No I’m not going to change the way we play,” a defiant Allardyce said. “The big shout at the beginning of the season was that we were going to attack more and for that reason we’ve lacked a few more clean sheets than we wanted. That would have got us a few more three point victories than draws and got us higher up the table.

“We’ve scored more goals than we’ve ever scored and we now must push on over the next seven games to get more than 46 points, which is our best total from year one, and if we can do that by continuing playing like we’re playing then we’ll go on and do it.

“We played like that and won earlier in the season, which was why we got to third or fourth so I’m not going to stop the players playing like that. I’m going to tell them to be a bit more careful when we haven’t got possession as if we continue to give goals away it means we’re going to have to score two, three or four goals to win games.”

With only seven games remaining and the Hammers well out of the relegation battle at the foot of the table, some may question whether the team still have anything worthy to play for. But certainly on the evidence of the performance in the East Midlands on Saturday, Big Sam has got his players fired up to finish the season strongly.

“We didn’t play like a team that was drifting on Saturday. We played like a team with a lot of creativity and drive. Where we failed is that we’re less clinical than we used to be.

“I think the lads in their first season in the Premier League have found out what physical and mental attributes are needed for a long season so their edge is not quite as good as it was, but they‘ll gain it for next season.

“We’ve still got to push on for the next seven games to get as many points as we can. Our performance on Saturday suggests we’ll get those points and for us it was a good performance but a disappointing end.

“We’ve done our job against teams below us as that was only the third defeat against teams below us in the table; all the others we’ve beaten. We’ve only lost to Palace and Everton.”

Overall, the manager shared the sense of disappointment over the defeat but felt the result could have gone either way after a host of missed chances. It is something he is likely to address with his team as they prepare for the visit of Stoke City to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

“To lose the game right at the end when it looks like we’d at least get a point is extremely disappointing. Either team could have won it. They did, we didn’t and we’re disappointed.

“We couldn’t do much more in terms of opening a team up and playing better than we did. It made us a little shorter on the defending side but you take that risk when you play away from home and you try to open the opposition up.

“Cheik Kouyate has scored again after a super ball from Alex Song and in doing so did what a lot of the others should have done with arguably better chances.”