Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce said he believes the disappointment he and his players felt after a 1-1 draw with Stoke City demonstrated how far the Hammers have come this season.

Reflecting on a tough encounter with the Potters, which saw Marko Arnautovic’s 95th minute equaliser cancel out Aaron Cresswell’s superb free-kick, Allardyce said: “We’re on 43 points, but we’re not happy with that because we know it should be 50, we’re in the top half of the table but we could be higher up.

“Aaron Cresswell scored a superb goal which was great to see but we didn’t hold on. It’s up to the players to find it within themselves to keep concentration levels up until the final whistle.”

“Arnautovic’s goal was a fantastic piece of skill, particularly his first touch, but we should have dealt with it better.”

The visitors' late equaliser has been a recent feature for Allardyce’s men after conceding other late goals against Manchester United, Tottenham hotspur and Leicester City.  

The West Ham United manager continued to say that these were the fine margins between gaining one and three points in the Premier League.  

“We should have 50 points by now, we’ve thrown away seven points in the last few minutes. Had we not conceded those late goals against Manchester United, Tottenham and Leicester we would have our record number of points since being back in the Premier League.

“We’re struggling to find the key element that will help us to close out games, at the moment we’re panicking towards the end of games and not keeping possession. I think their goal was a very good one, we should have dealt with it better than we did. We are very nervous because we’ve conceded late goals before.”

Up next for the Hammers is a tough away fixture to current champions Manchester City on Sunday 19 April.

Having beaten Manuel Pellegrini’s men 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground in the reverse fixture, Allardyce is hoping the players will recreate the impressive form demonstrated that day.

“I think Stoke deserve a lot of credit, from our point of view we didn’t play as well we know we can. We know we can improve and we have to improve quickly because it is costing us.

“A lot of our players are still new to the Premier League, Aaron Cresswell. Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Cheikhou Kouyate have all done brilliantly but they are now feeling the pace.”