West Ham: Big Sam says he needs January signings

By Rob Virtue on December 16, 2013 10:10 AM |

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In a dismal affair at Upton Park, West Ham and Sunderland played out a 0-0 stalemate as both teams battle to stay away from the dreaded relegation zone.

Gaffer Sam Allardyce said that maybe his side went into this crucial fixture with too much caution and lacked that creative spark that his side were capable of.

"There was a little bit too much edge in our game today, and not putting the same amount of pressure on Sunderland we created against Fulham," said the manager.

"We wanted someone to find that little bit of genius, and nick a one nil win, and a draw was probably a fair result on the day, which is disappointing."

Big Sam added: "This game was just as big as the Fulham games two weeks ago. Today we didn't see what we did in the Fulham game, but the squad's getting thinner and thinner with injuries and suspensions.

"At the moment, we've got to battle our way through it, get all our players fit and try and add to the squad in January. So between now and January, we need to get players fit and get as many points on the board as possible."

In fact, it was the visitors who had the better chances to claim maximum points in east London on Saturday.

Summer recruit Jozy Altidore's one on one chance with Jussi Jaaskelainen was brilliantly tipped round the post by the veteran.

On loan attacker Fabio Borini dragged his effort wide of the goal when through on goal, while left back Phil Bardsley's thunderbolt effort from all of 30 yards crashed against the crossbar.

In all fairness, despite the Black Cats dominance, the hosts should have been 1-0 to the good by the break.

James Tomkins guided back post header from a Mark Noble corner found the Ivory Coast international Guy Demel who finished well, but the goal was disallowed by referee Andre Marriner, who deemed Demel was infringing Phil Bardsley in the area.

In the second half, USA international Altidore wiggled his way through the Hammers backline but his shot was well saved, while midfield maestro Ki Seung Yeung had his effort from 12 yards out parried by former Finland international Jaaskelainen.

West Ham best chance of the second half came from centre half, James Collins, after his glancing header from a Noble corner went just wide, and the east London outfit claimed their fifth goalless draw of the season.

With maximum points essential in the game against Gus Poyet's men, the Hammers now face a tricky run of games leading upto the new year.

West Ham travel to Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, before they take on current Premier League champions, Manchester United at Old Trafford. On Boxing Day, top of the table Arsenal visit the Boleyn Ground with another home tie in the league, this time against fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion to round off 2013.

Jack Pinnock

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