Allardyce left gutted as West Ham lose season opener

Hammers boss says his side have to take their chances

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was left to rue his side’s missed chances after their 1-0 defeat at home to Cardiff City on Sunday in the opening game of the Championship season.

The Hammers controlled the majority of the game and created a total of 14 chances.

However, a 91st-minute Kenny Miller goal for the visitors, after Herita Illunga was caught in possession, ensured that the three points were taken back down the M4 to Wales.

“We are gutted,” said a clearly dejected Allardyce.

“We created chances today but we did not convert them. That was out biggest problem.

“We saw today that we didn’t bury Cardiff when we were in the ascendancy and football kicks you right where it hurts sometimes and that is what happened today.”

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Allardyce thought that his side at least deserved a point from the game, if not all three.

“We didn’t get the clean sheet we were looking for and we didn’t get the win that we wanted either,” he said.

“We should have at least come away with a point, but we get a slip at the end and we get punished heavily for that and we are all very disappointed with zero points from the first game of the season, when we should have had three.”

The Hammers dominated most of the game against Malky Mackay’s men but failed to take their chances, as Freddie Sears blasted over from close range, Freddie Piquionne hit the post and James Tomkins saw a diving header blocked on the line.

“Overall, we were very good and we created much more than Cardiff, which I expected us to do as we were at home” said Allardyce.

“We played our three most creative players in midfield and we did well down the left-hand side with Matt Taylor.

“Defensively, apart from the slip at the end, we looked extremely solid, which was part of the big problem we had last season, so we are getting there.”

However, despite a promising performance, the West Ham boss revealed just how badly he had taken the loss.

“I won’t be sleeping tonight,” he said. “I will probably be watching the game when I get back and putting myself in the position of trying to work out what went wrong and learn as quickly as I can from the defeat.

“I will talk to the players and then we have to forget about it.”

Sunday’s defeat showed that West Ham really are in need of a proven Championship striker who can finish the numerous chances that the team created – something that Allardyce freely admits.

“Goalscoring is at the end of what you create and we were lacking in that department because we didn’t score from the chances that we created,” he said.

“We’ve had a bit of bad luck with the Piquionne finish that hit the post and the diving header from Tomkins that looked all the way in, but it got cleared off the line.

“With the rest of the opportunities that we had, we just weren’t clinical enough to put them away.

“It just makes life so much easier for us if we are clinical.

“However, there is not that much wrong really in the team and we are going to prove that away to Doncaster this weekend.”