Injuries may force West Ham into January transfer market

Sam Allardyce unable to name full bench for draw at West Brom

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is aiming to strengthen his injury-ravaged squad during the January transfer window after only being able to name six substitutes for the goalless draw at West Brom.

Allardyce was without seven injured players - including Ricardo Vaz Te, Yossi Benayoun, Andy Carroll, Jack Collison and Mohamed Diame - for the Barclays Premier League clash at the Hawthorns yesterday.

But he was full of praise for the way his below-strength line-up fought to claim a share of the spoils against an Albion side who had won six of their previous eight home games this season.

Allardyce said: "January will be important to us. We want to continue where we've got to already and push on from there if we can.

"We don't want to slip down the league and lose matches.

"Being without two or three players is okay but six or seven is far too many for us.

"We coped well at West Brom but I'm not sure just how long we will cope if we have them out too long.

"We've got some really good players like Vaz Te, Benayoun, Carroll, Collison, Diame, all attacking players with flair, who were missing.

"But we earned our point with a good, honest, solid performance."

West Brom maintained sixth spot after halting a run of three successive defeats in a game that seldom moved out of second gear.

Baggies boss Steve Clarke admitted: "I thought a draw was just about the right result. We didn't quite do enough to get the three points.

"As the home team, the onus is on us to try and win it. We tried to win it but nothing really fell for us.

"We spoke before the game about defending well, to aim for the clean sheet, which we got, which is good, because we haven't had one for a while.

"That is one positive aspect. It does stop the run of defeats which is another positive aspect and it's another point towards the totals we are trying to achieve."

Albion midfielder James Morrison was twice denied a breakthrough by the woodwork.

Hammers defender Winston Reid could have sealed a third away win of the campaign for his side when he volleyed over from close range.

PA

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