Allardyce ‘angry’ but defends team selection

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was angered by his side’s first-half display but defended his decision not to start with either Alex Song or Diafra Sakho in the 2-0 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Allardyce said the duo were both recovering from injuries and that the busy festive fixture list meant it was sensible to rest them.

Both players came on in the final 30 minutes and impressed in a much-improved attacking display.

However, West Ham failed to muster a single shot on target, although they created three good openings in the final 20 minutes.

Allardyce said: “It was a good side with top quality and no player that has not played regularly. Mark Noble has been a stalwart of the team.

“But it didn’t happen until the start of the second half when it got better, but we gave a stupid goal away and at 2-0 it was too late.

“The first half was not what I expected. I expected us to defend a lot but not to give the ball away as much as we did. We got sucked into passing the ball sideways.

“I am angry with the first half. When I set out to play a certain way and we don’t, then you get frustrated.

“I have no complaints about the result. But as good as Chelsea were, my disappointment was the two goals we conceded.

“We did not do enough to affect them today. If we were going to get anything against Chelsea you have to play your best but even then that might not be good enough.

“We created some very good chances late on. The best part of our game came from when we went 2-0 down. I am not saying we deserved anything, Chelsea were the better team.

“But we carved out a few chances in the last 20 minutes, you stick one in and it can make things a bit nervous for them.”

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