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Curbishley: a big blow

Filed: Sunday, 4th November 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

Alan Curbishley has accused his team of unprofessionalism after dropping two points against relegation candidates Bolton earlier today.

Curbishley, talking to the BBC's Match of the Day, said that the Hammers had 'paid the price' for trying to score a second goal late on - when holding on to the lead should have been priority.

"I'm looking at it with fifteen minutes to go thinking we're one down, trying to get back in the game and throwing caution to the wind because we were putting four or five people in the box," he said.

"That's great if it comes off and you score the second goal. But we were in a position where we should have just run the clock down. We were in their box with a minute to go and opportunities perhaps to be professional, to take it in the corner, to attract a tackle.

"But I think you'll find when Matty Etherington crosses it John Paintsil volleys it back to him and we've got four or five bodies in the box - and there's a minute to go."

Curbishley also saw his extensive injury list grow with a first half injury to midfielder Hayden Mullins. He was eventually replaced five minutes into the second period by full-back Jonathan Spector - a case of putting square pegs in round holes?

"It's difficult," added Curbs. "I can't ask any more of the players, their endeavour and effort. We're picking points up.

"But I think we just needed that little bit more today. We had people playing out of position and it was difficult for us. At the end Bolton were a lot bigger side than us and you always fear a set play - and it came up trumps for them.

"We've been chopping and changing and have had no continuity really since the start of the season. I don't know when we're going to get back to that. But as I said earlier, the players that have been going in there have got the chance to stake their claim, they're getting games and I think it's disrespectful to keep talking about injuries.

"We've got a squad that's big enough, we can put teams out. If we'd have come away with those two [extra] points we'd have found ourselves in the top half of the table and in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup - which I'd have taken at the start of the season."

Curbishley - who turns 50 later this week - also bemoaned the fact that he is yet to be able to field a settled side despite succeeding Alan Pardew eleven months ago.

"I've been at the club for nearly a year now and we've never had a chance to settle down," he said. "It's been one thing after another.

"I came in and we had that dreadful run, then we were battling away avoiding relegation and this year it seems as if every week something different is going to happen.

"Give Bolton some credit today - they got themselves back in the game and we looked as if we were wilting a little bit.

"But it's a big blow - two points dropped."

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by Patrick
05:24PM 6th Nov 2007
''great point Curbs...

we should just let the air out of the ball and be happy we scored ... screw attacking football, lets just play boring negative tactics, and hope they don't counter and score an easy one.

The Catiously has spoken ...''

by Paul
11:53PM 5th Nov 2007
''Good one Alan, saying it how it is. I watched the Pompey match the other week and we were poor with a capital P. I love WHUFC but we need to awaken the giant soon. The supporters deserve it, for their undying loyalty.''

by Roy
05:43PM 5th Nov 2007
''I can't understand why we are so rubbish at home. If we wish to push for our goals we must win home games - especially against poor teams ...''

by Bill, Sydney, Oz
02:33AM 5th Nov 2007
''Not even pub team standard!

Don’t blame your players, Alan. Blame yourself for not getting the message firmly across to them to shut up shop and defend their lead. Blame your captain for not controlling his players with the same message.

And this is not “after the event” whinging from me: even our pub team would have known what to do with ten minutes to go, let alone with four injury minutes and a corner flag to make love to!

by Adam
12:45AM 5th Nov 2007
''Hmm.. if he wanted them to waste time, why didn't he tell them? Seems to me he would have taken credit if we scored a second goal.''

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