Sam wants winning feeling to return

Sam Allardyce wants his players to rediscover the winning habit over the final ten games of the Barclays Premier League season

Sam Allardyce wants to celebrate another valuable victory soon
Sam Allardyce has urged his players to rediscover the winning habit over the final ten games of the Barclays Premier League season.

West Ham United have won just one of their last eleven league matches, but the manager argued that his team could have won at least four more – versus West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at home and away at Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur.

With only two of the Hammers’ ten remaining games to be played against teams in the current top seven, Big Sam has encouraged his squad to get back on the victory trail as often as possible.

“The sad thing is we’ve forgotten how to win,” he told West Ham TV. “To not have got over the line in recent games is massively disappointing for everybody concerned. The entertainment value is there, the attacking play is exceptionally good and the opportunity to win games has been there on at least five occasions in the last eleven games.

“So, instead of competing for a European place as we should be doing, we’re now sat in tenth hoping to stay in the top half with ten games to go.

“Our need to try and win games from winning positions has just failed us recently. Factors in terms of disruption through suspensions and injuries and loss of form mean that, squad-wise, perhaps a finish in the top eight needs a bit better quality of player or more strength in depth.

“Hopefully we’ll finish the last ten games off and move back up the table again. It’s just a great shame we haven’t converted all those performances into more wins.”

West Ham resume with a tough trip to third-place Arsenal on Saturday, where the manager knows his team will likely have to keep a clean sheet to gain all three points.

“While we’ve been more free-scoring this season, netting more than 40 league goals, our clean sheet ratio away from home in particular has been the major negative factor,” he continued.

“We continue to talk about it without over-stating it, but it’s such a small divide between a win and a draw and a difference in our points total. By my minimum calculation, we should be on 46 points now.

“It does present us with a big challenge to keep a clean sheet at Arsenal, but we should have done it at Tottenham. We were two goals up but couldn’t see it out because we conceded two. Yes, you could say Danny Rose’s goal was fortunate because it was a miskick, but then the determination to hold on wasn’t there because we gave a soft penalty away.

“We’ve really got to keep cooler, calmer heads and make sure we play out time better and keep possession a bit more, which eases the pressure on us in the final few minutes.

“Let’s hope we can get in front, as we have done twice at Arsenal in recent seasons. We’ve not been able to hold on, even until half-time, and we’ve been severely punished.

“The challenge is to play as well as we have been playing and then hope that performance will get us a result.”