Filed: Sunday, 2nd September 2012
By: Staff Writer
There was a buzz in the stands, on the pitch and in the press room after the game as Sam Allardyce reflected on a job well done in the post-match conference, which we once again bring to you exclusively in full...
Sam: There was a buzz around the ground before the start of the game because of the signings you've made this week - and there was a buzz on the pitch when you got the [first] goal?
Yes. It was a tremendous start to the game for us, of course, and the overall performance from there on was absolutely pleasing to us all. We've all worked tirelessly, particularly in terms of the signings and with the players that we've had from July the 1st when we started back.
I think that was 'bouncebackability' [today]; I remember that one from Iain Dowie! It was that we needed today and we did it with great effect, style, thrust and skill. For a team that's newly promoted to have that sort of game? I mean, it's never over 'til it's over but it was this time when it was 3-0 at half time - and deservedly so.
For everybody concerned it's a great way to bounce back from last week. To have six points from three games at the start of the season means that we can keep the pressure away. That can easily come on you when you slip near the bottom this early in the season. At the moment we are relieving that pressure and that will hopefully bring more and more out of the players.
How's Andy Carroll?
Not good I'm afraid. It looks like a hamstring which is obviously the most disappointing thing from today - especially as Carlton Cole was ready to come on. Another two minutes or so and Andy would have been off anyway, because he would have been fatiguing as he hasn't played as many games as he would have wanted since coming back from holiday - and of course, playing in the European Championships.
So we were ready to bring him off but unfortunately, on that last jump, he got hit by Hangeland, twisted his body and it's pulled his hamstring by the looks of it.
So he's out of the England squad?
I think almost definitely he's out of the England squad. We just have to pray that it's not too severe.
What did you make of his debut apart from that?
Very good. I think that what's important was the delight everybody felt when Andy walked through the door today. It made us all feel that little bit better, having a £35million centre forward walk through the door - whether you've got him on loan or not. He's a quality centre forward and he's our number one.
Hopefully we can play to his strengths and he can help us do what we want to do - and that's to win as many football matches as we can. Hopefully we can provide him with the service to score lots of goals.
Kevin said he's brought an excitement to the players; could you sense that?
We he brought excitement to Kevin Nolan's performance because Kevin can feed off Andy instinctively. Kevin could have had a hat-trick today. He knows if the ball is going to Andy he can go; he knows he can go beyond and get in areas where Andy can find him, or if Andy doesn't the defender will end up knocking the ball down to him. And of course the quality of his finish was very important. For us, from thereon in, it was just us playing better than Fulham, creating more than them.
It's well documented that Andy was perhaps a bit reluctant to come to West Ham; you had to work very hard to get him here. You've had to settle in to London, how will you help him adjust to that?
There are three factors. He knows me, but one of the biggest factors is that he knows Tim D'Eath who is our player liaison officer, as well. Tim's the England chef and Andy knows him really well; Tim looks after all our players in terms of settling into a new area. And of course his relationship with Kevin [Nolan]. So I think that helps him settle into London and West Ham quicker than if he'd gone anywhere else where he doesn't quite know some of the personnel. But he knows a lot of the players, myself and some of the staff here so that will hopefully help him settle in.
The disappointing thing is obviously the injury; it's a cruel blow for him and a cruel blow for us if it keeps him out for any length of time other than the two weeks we're off on international break now. It's all about getting him match fit and back up to speed - and the way to do that is obviously to play in matches. That might not be able to happen now for a week or two.
What did you say to him when he came off, did you have a chance to have a chat [about the injury]? What did he have to say?
Well he's not interested in that, he's just so gutted because he's got injured and he can't join England. That's why he's most disappointed because he wanted to get off there. Hopefully he's going to play every week for us and if he score goals then Roy's going to pick him, isn't he?
If [Danny] Wellback doesn't play as often as he used to at Manchester United because [Robin] Van Persie's there with [Wayne] Rooney then Andy could be the number one England striker - that's if he's playing for us regularly, playing well and scoring. He wants to do both; he wants to do well for us and he wants to do well for England.
Do you have him for another day and then he goes to England? Or does he go immediately?
I don't know to be honest with you, that's down to the medical department. They'll contact whoever they need to contact and England will decide rightly or wrongly. They can ask him to go but I think they know us well enough - and Roy knows us well enough - to know that if he's not going to be any good to them, we can send them the scan results.
Is it a pull or a strain?
A slight, slight strain but we won't know the extent of the damage until his MRI.
Would it be fair to say this has been a dream transfer window for you?
I think so, yeah. The long, arduous task of finding players is a gruelling one in the window. You get through the [post-season] break and try, but everybody wants too much. You start the pre-season and they're still too much for what you can afford. Then you get to panic stations, they start getting cheaper and you have to move, pounce!
Karren Brady, David Sullivan, Martin (my recruitment officer), myself and David Gold have really gone to town and pressed the button on many things as early as we can and that's why we've got the squad we've got together. Hopefully we can build on what we've done over the last three games. We disappointed at Swansea but the two home performances have been really encouraging, particularly this one.
Martin Jol has been in talking about his team's performance. He wasn't particularly positive about Fulham but he described your goals as set-pieces and long balls. Is that a fair assessment?
The three goals we scored were a ball up to Andy Carroll, which he flicked on, and two set pieces which are 38-40 per cent of goals scored in the game today. How did Liverpool draw against Manchester City?
I didn't actually see that game...
Did you not? [laughs]
One was a corner and one was a set piece. In between our three long-ball goals we outplayed Fulham, it's that simple. Totally and utterly. So if Martin's team can't defend properly then he really shouldn't criticise the way we scored our goals, should he?
A quick word on Yossi Benayoun. What will he bring to West Ham?
Quality. It's all about quality in this division. I have to say Yossi was absolutely brilliant yesterday, to help get himself here at this football club. It wasn't just about us negotiating with Chelsea, it was about him stepping in and saying "I want to go to West Ham". I was absolutely delighted to hear that from the very start because he's looking forward to playing here and giving us extra quality in the final third which we know he's got and we know he delivered that last time he was here.
Can I just check - will Andy Carroll now go to England's camp to be checked?
I don't know. It depends on the communication between our medical staff and England's medical staff. Then they'll revert to Roy [Hodgson] and they'll make a decision. We know there's damage there and we know that at this moment in time we wouldn't think he'd be available.
Has he gone off for a scan now, tonight?
I don't think so, I think that'll be tomorrow at the earliest. Thank you.
Andy Carroll remains my priority - Allardyce [10th Jun 2013]
Free transfer list announced [7th Jun 2013]
Two new dates for pre-season [6th Jun 2013]
Adrian lands three-year contract [5th Jun 2013]
O'Neil: discussions ongoing [5th Jun 2013]
Razvan Rat signs [21st May 2013]
Underchuffed: Carlton Cole leaves West Ham [21st May 2013]
Allardyce: Razvan Rat talks under way [21st May 2013]
Hammers hunt Spanish star [21st May 2013]
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