BRANDISHING the statistics at one Press conference after another afterwards, Sam Allardyce refused to entertain talk of his side’s great good fortune in grabbing the latest of equalisers against Sunderland on Saturday.
The West Ham boss watched his side level with virtually the last kick to salvage something from a game they looked destined to lose.
But he was at pains afterwards to ensure that the story coming out of this game should be one of hard-done-by Hammers rather than lucky Londoners.
In every Press conference it was the same stat. “Sunderland had four attempts at goal on the day,” he growled. “We had 17.
“That just tells you that we dominated but weren’t able to put the ball away.
“So when we scored, no-one could say it was against the run of play.
“We had disappointed players in our dressing room; disappointed because they know they should have won the game – I’m disappointed because we didn’t capitalise on our creation of chances.
“Through lack of clinical finishing, we’ve ended up having to settle for a draw rather than a victory.
“If we’d finished against Sunderland like we did against Fulham, we would have been out of sight.”
Allardyce was irritated by Sunderland’s early opener, even as he acknowledged the quality with which it was put away by Steven Fletcher.
“This division punishes you for mistakes,” he reflected.
“And we got punished for a mistake which fell to someone who is proving to be a fantastic player for Sunderland.
“Steven Fletcher’s shown himself a very good finisher and he’s already justifying the money Martin paid for him.
“As for ourselves, we’ve had a stack of chances I would expect us to put away and there was one good shot where Simon Mignolet pulled off a brilliant save just as I was turning away to celebrate.
“I’ll be happy if we keep playing like that but improve our finishing.
“I’ve got to be happy, though, to get something out of the match after we contributed to a good, open game.
“We’re defending a decent home record at Upton Park and we’ve got to be pleased with that because we’re still the new kids on the block.
“We’re the newly-promoted side, and West Ham have not got to forget that.
“We are the underdogs because we are the side that’s just got here, but we are looking relatively comfortable.
“And I suppose that’s what pleased me most about the game against Sunderland – we bossed the match, we didn’t look like a side which had just come up a division.”