West ham boss Sam Allardyce bemoans his lack of numbers ahead of Norwich City clash
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admits his squad is down the bare bones.
Suspended captain Kevin Nolan and experienced centre back James Collins join the likes of key injured trio George McCartney, Mohamed Diame and England international Andy Carroll on the sidelines. With Ricardo Va Tez, Jack Collison and Alou Diarra only recently back in the fold after long-term layoffs, Allardyce knows it will take a major effort to bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 weekend defeat at Reading.
'We haven't had our best team out for ages,' he said. 'Since we beat Chelsea, our points total has diminished rather than kicked on from there. Normally when you get a result as big as that one you kick on and get more and more results as the euphoria keeps you going. The injuries have unfortunately kicked in and we've not been able to pick up the results we wanted to. It's about getting the players back fit and then keeping them fit, and then we'll be okay, but that's got to happen very quickly now. The lads I've picked have done very well and done a great job in terms of the performances they've given, but not the results that we needed. We're in a pretty bad spell at the moment and to boot we see Kevin and James get booked and miss Norwich City.'
Allardyce felt Nolan and Collins let their frustrations get the better of them with needless cautions in the latest defeat at the Madjeski.
'We're now in a position of our worst run of results this season and then the unprofessionalism of our players, due to frustration, means our skipper gets booked and James gets booked,' he said. 'Losing the (Reading) game was hard enough, but to lose these two players for the next game in the last game of the suspension period (made it even worse). It's tough going for us at the minute so we have dig in, become a bit more resilient and show a bit more quality in the final third and make sure we try to win and get three points as quickly as possible.'
Allardyce wants the Hammers to cut out the basic errors which have crept into their game after a positive start to life back in the top flight following promotion through the Championship play-offs.
'We need to bounce back and we've got to make sure we become better at creating and taking our chances, otherwise it's going to be tough,' he said.