Premier League: Allardyce reveals worry as Hammers draw another blank


WEST Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted his team’s lack of potency in front of goal is a growing concern, after they failed to net for the third Premier League game in a row.

The Hammers registered just a single effort on target throughout the 90 minutes, though centre-back James Collins fluffed a golden opportunity for a last-gasp winner when he blazed over unchallenged from 12 yards.

Allardyce’s side had veteran goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to thank for thwarting the Saints frontline with three fine saves to rescue a point.

And the former Bolton boss admitted the form of his 38-year-old stopper was vital for his shot-shy side.

“I’m well happy with the 0-0 and going home with a point,” said Allardyce. “It was a decent performance defensively, our third clean sheet in four games, but we’ve gone three games now without a goal and that is my concern.

“We created good opportunities in and around the final third, we just didn’t have enough quality to put the ball in the net.

“Jussi had very little to do in the other three games he’s played, but when we needed him he’s been there three times and that gives the back four in front of him encouragement.”

While pleased with the point that moved the Hammers to 10th in the Premier League, Allardyce felt his team’s task should have been made easier by referee Andre Mariner, who failed to punish Saints midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin following a two-footed challenge on Mohamed Diame.

“We feel disappointed about the fact Schneiderlin was still on the pitch,” he added. “With any two-footed challenge we’re told it can be nothing else but a straight red card and this wasn’t even a free-kick.

“I don’t know how Andre, an experienced referee, has not seen that.”

Southampton’s £15m summer signing Pablo Osvaldo was denied his first Premier League goal thanks to a fine reaction save from Jaaskelainen.

England striker Rickie Lambert saw a near-post header bounce back off the woodwork shortly after half-time.

And Jaaskelainen was the on hand to keep out a powerful Schneiderlin volley and Lambert curler, before Collins’ costly 84th-minute miss.