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Allardyce on... Crystal Palace

Filed: Sunday, 20th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Disappointed but not disillusioned, Big Sam admitted that his mind had been elsewhere before today's game. Here's his post-match press conference, in its entirely, exclusively for KUMB readers...

Sam: it was an afternoon where a penalty decided the game. Did you feel that perhaps West Ham should have had one from the spot themselves?

We think Andy was fouled in the box in the first half by Scott Dann, I think it was. As always I've had a look at the key incidents when the game finishes and looking at that it certainly looks like a blatant penalty to me. Quite why Martin didn't give it [I don't know] - because he seemed to be in a very good position, which is the next thing you look at. Obviously that has been the difference today.

Having said that, breaking down Crystal Palace is never going to be easy as you can tell by all the teams they've beaten recently. They've beaten Everton and Chelsea, teams like that. So those things need to go for you but the last thing we needed to do was give a silly penalty away like we did. In the end we've paid a high price for that today.

When everything was looking like we were going to create another chance for another opening we let them get ahead. After that they defended even deeper and continued to defend deep with the team in their own half because they've got what they wanted, and that's the lead. They'll hold onto it as best they possibly can - and they did.

You re-shuffled your defence today; what was wrong with Guy Demel?

He's ill. He was vomiting yesterday, the doctor went to see him and said he was too weak to participate in today's game. I would have normally played Joey O'Brien at right back but Joey has only recently recovered frmo a dislocated shoulder and hasn't even trained much with the first team yet. So we played George in there and I think he did a very good job.

It's a disappointing day from a results perspective, but football doesn't mean too much today after what's happened to Dylan [Tombides]. When I heard the bad news about him passing away my thoughts were with him and his family. My sympathies go to them; it's a sad day for the family and us. He was a young man who put up such a great fight to live and continue to play football.

Do you think it affected the players?

Not really, no. I thought the players played how they should play to try and break down Crystal Palace's defensive unit. In the end it's about one thing - when you get the opportunity to score you've got to score and we didn't do that today. We were pretty miserable in our finishing.

Not making the 'keeper make more saves than he actually did was my biggest disappointment, apart from the penalty being a silly one to give away. Our quality of finishing wasn't good enough when we created the chances we did - and against Crystal Palace, you don't create that many.

With the last two against Spurs and Manchester City do you need to get something...

...Well we've got West Brom next week which is the most important game for us to concentrate on. [We need] to try and play as well as we've been playing but make sure we get a result. Having got nothing from the last two home games and having lost to three penalties is a bit difficult to take, to say the least.

At least the points gap [below us] means we're not going to be under too much pressure, but we are under pressure because we haven't won in three games now - in fact we've lost all three. We've got to put that right at West Brom on Saturday and make sure we get a result. It's that simple.

Do you have some sympathy for the fans and their frustrations that were echoed in the second half and again at the final whistle?

I'm always sympathetic because I'm as frustrated as they are. I don't want to see my team losing when they're playing a game of football, particularly at home. But at the end of the day, when you are playing against a team that is very good at what they do - and have been since he [Tony Pulis] got his new players in January - then you hope to break that down and win that game 1-0.

They've barely conceded more than once in the last ten or 11 games, maybe even longer, so we knew that it had to be us to score the first goal and try and win the game 1-0. If we got any more than that, that would be fine, but it'd always be difficult. Today our finishing failed us; perhaps the referee failed us on the Andy Carroll foul and in the end Pablo really shouldn't have given that penalty away. It was a silly challenge and we've paid a heavy price for that.

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