West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said he was left deflated and frustrated after his side conceded another late goal which resulted in a 2-1 defeat against Everton at Upton Park on Saturday.
Stewart Downing put the Hammers in front just after an hour but Leon Osman produced a sublime finish shortly after and Romelu Lukaku nodded home in the 92nd minute, making him the highest scoring Belgian in Premier League history.
Big Sam insisted that lessons had to be learned ahead of next season suggesting that some players were not prepared for the rigors of the Premier League.
Allardyce said: “The lads have learned their lesson at the turn of the year if you don’t focus correctly. Perhaps in the early part of the season when everything was in top gear and we were scoring for fun they must of thought it’s not quite as hard but now they’ve seen the realities of the Premier League. It’s a great lesson for the lads to learn going into next season.”
Hammers would be sitting in eighth had they not conceded goals in the last five minutes of games but now they reside in the bottom half of the table, still three points off their 50 point target.
“It’s another bitter disappointment on the basis it was a very entertaining game and one we had our noses in front,” said Allardyce.
“We needed to make life more difficult to score for Everton. We should have had a blatant penalty in the first half which is a big problem for me when they are such easy decisions to make.
“Most of it though was our fault and we paid a heavy price for it. Our finishing has dropped in quality since losing Andy Carrol and Diafra Sakho through injury.”
The Upton Park outfit now sit in 11th and can go no higher than 10th after the defeat to the Toffees. However, with one game remaining West Ham could still make a difference in the relegation dog fight as they travel to St James Park to take on Allardyce’s former employers Newcastle United on Sunday.