Allardyce: Pressure is a pleasure, not a hindrance
West Ham boss says Hammers are not intimidated at Upton Park
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was in a dismissive mood when asked whether his players were intimidated when they play at Upton Park.
The Hammers slumped to their second league defeat at home on Tuesday night thanks to Lee Bowyer’s 89th-minute strike for Ipswich Town, and Allardyce was furious after seeing his side concede another late goal.
“It’s terrible, isn’t it?” said the 56-year-old. “I thought we had learnt our lesson, but clearly we haven’t done.
“I try to keep telling the players about respecting the point and how important it is because coming off with a 0-0 would have been a good point for us.
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“That glitch in our play has popped up again. Cardiff, Leeds United and now Ipswich.
“We can ill-afford to throw away points as early as this and more importantly at Upton Park.
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“That’s four points that have been thrown away in the final minutes of football.
“We have to eradicate that because we now have to make those points up going away from home.
“Losing two, winning two and drawing one at home if we want to go where we want to go is not good enough.”
With a squad full of international players, Allardyce refused to believe that any of them could be feeling intimidated by playing at Upton Park in the latter stages of the game.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“Why should they? Why would Kevin Nolan, Abdoulaye Faye and Mark Noble (feel intimidated)?
“There is a bigger weight of expectancy in the Premier League, far bigger.
“If you want to know about pressure, be in the Premier League.
“I think there is nobody in the dressing room who can really say (they are intimidated).
“Noble, Robert Green, Jack Collison and James Tomkins may feel a little pressure based on the fact that they are West Ham players from last season, but everybody else is new.
“It’s not pressure for them, it is a pleasure. Pressure is a pleasure, not a hindrance.”
With other results going the Hammers’ way during the week, West Ham remain in fourth place in the Championship table, but Allardyce takes no comfort in that.
“My concern is the result here,” he said. “I know it is early doors and the team is a new one coming together, but it doesn’t stop you being organised and professional in the final minutes of the game.
“I didn’t think that we deserved to win, but I certainly don’t think we should be losing matches at that stage of the game anymore from now on.”
Having missed the chance to move up the league table on Tuesday night, the Hammers now face a daunting trip to Crystal Palace – who beat Brighton 3-1 at the Amex Stadium this week – knowing that only a win would keep up West Ham’s two-points-a-game target.
And Allardyce is looking for an immediate reaction from his players.
“We bounced back after Cardiff with a win at Doncaster,” he said.
“Obviously the Crystal Palace game will be much more difficult than the Doncaster one, but based on our away form I expect us to be better than what we were today and that will give us an opportunity to get a result.”