West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says his team is very nervous going into the latter stages of games with a lead.
On Saturday, Stoke City levelled in the 95th minute in a 1-1 draw against the Hammers at Upton Park.
This is the fourth time in the last 10 games that the Irons have conceded in the last five minutes of a match, which has seen the east Londoners slip out of contention for European places, despite clinging on to ninth.
Big Sam says the Hammers should be sitting on 50 points, not the 43 they have.
Allardyce said: “Yes, there is anxiety around the place. That anxiety is there when it’s only 1-0 and the opposition take risks. Whatever the game plan was goes out the window.
Stoke left four up front and were direct and we’ve got to defend that and use the spaces they leave when we get possession. That’s the bigger problem for me rather than conceding in the last minute – taking the pressure off the back four by retaining possession.
“We are very nervous at the end of games based on what’s happened before. We should be on 50 points. We’ve thrown away seven points in four matches in the last moments. If we had concentrated fully, then we’d be sitting on 50 points – our greatest total and greatest finish. Now, were still on 43 points scratching our heads thinking when are we ever going to see a game out and win a game of football.”
With two wins in their last 13 games – and one win in the last 10 – Allardyce’s fate may not yet be sealed but two consecutive away matches will not help his case.
First, the Hammers travel to flagging Manchester City, who will be looking to rally after a derby drubbing, and they travel back to the capital where they take on a feisty QPR are battling against the drop.
West Ham will have to play without their top scorer Diafra Sakho who picked up a thigh injury in the draw against the Potters. Sakho will have further scans later in the week and could possibly be out for the rest of the season.