WEST Ham manager Sam Allardyce conceded his team needed to call on their big guns to see off the challenge of Championship leaders Burnley in the Capital One Cup last night.
Successful second-half penalties from Matt Taylor and substitute Jack Collison halted Burnley’s run of eight successive wins.
But Allardyce admitted his side did not look comfortable until captain Kevin Nolan and England winger Stewart Downing came off the bench to send the Premier League strugglers into the last eight.
“With the introduction of Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan the quality they’ve got finally got us the breakthrough,” he said.
“The midfield didn’t pass the ball well enough and we had to do a lot of defending.
“When we changed to 3-4-3 we started to control things, we were passing the ball properly and got Burnley on the back foot.”
Former Hammers midfielder Junior Stanislas was twice denied by goalkeeper Adrian, while in-form striker Danny Ings was also frustrated by the Spaniard.
The visitors finally broke the deadlock on 76 minutes after Jason Shackell was adjudged to have brought down Nolan inside the box and Taylor converted the spot-kick.
And, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Keith Treacy was shown a straight red card for a foul on Collison and the Wales midfield dusted himself down to net from the penalty spot.