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FA & League Cups

Manchester City v West Ham United: ‘Our players could not cope with them,’ says West Ham manager Sam Allardyce


West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has declared a determination not to quit as West Ham United manager, blaming defensive injuries for his side's 6-0 battering by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg led to calls for him to step down.

Allardyce was subjected to a battery of abuse from his own club's supporters after a game in which City piled 32 shots in on goal and scored so many that striker Edin Dzeko had lost count by the end. But he laughed off the criticism and said he would continue in his job. “Yes there's times when it's good and times when it's not so good,” he declared. “When it's not so good you have to draw on your strengths to guide the players through.”

The 59-year-old made it clear that he knows his job is in jeopardy, after this result followed the 5-0 FA Cup Third Round hammering at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. “You can't keep losing football matches. You can't ask to let it continue. We've got to not lose confidence in our own ability [and] hopefully be successful in the [transfer] market,” he said.

Yet he refused to blame his players for the defeat, despite overwhelming evidence that they had given up all hope of challenging Manchester City in the match. When the poor performances of former England internationals Joe Cole and Stewart Downing were put to him, Allardyce said: “You need more than two when you've got none of your real defenders, a loan transfer player at left back and a left back playing [at centre half] against [Alvaro] Negredo and [Edin] Dzeko. You can't get near a team when [City] play like that. [My team] tried their best and their best was not good enough against a team of that talent. My problems in defence are the massive problem that gives us the problems we have. When the defence was fit we had eight clean sheets in fist 10 or 12 matches.”


Of the abuse he received from fans, Allardyce said: “It's life isn't it? When you're not doing well you get stick as a manger. You take it on the chin and get on with it. You understand they are going to give you criticism - that's life. We are not the first team to be beaten here by many, many goal are we? The semi-final fell at the wrong time and they punished us.”

Manuel Pellegrini said he believed that ties are never finished after one game but he clearly believes City are in the Capital One Cup final now. “We are getting better all the time. It's not easy to win 5-0 at home against a Premier League team but we did,” Dzeko said.“Was it 6-0? Oh.” Pellegrini smiled knowingly when the striker's mistake, which he made during victory at Bayern Munich last month, as put to him. “These things happen,” he said

Pellegrini said of Alvaro Negredo, who scored a hat-trick: “Playing better than the way he did today is not easy. Not only because he scored three goals but because he linked with the midfield. For me it is not a surprise. ”

He said of Samir Nasri and David Silva: “I think that Nasri is a great midfielder and also David in the way they play easy and forwards.”