West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has 'sympathy' for fans after defeat to Crystal Palace

Hammers manager says finishing and 'perhaps the referee' were to blame for defeat

Sam Allardyce has sympathy with the West Ham fans who booed the team off after their 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday but insists it was difficult for the Hammers to break down their resilient opponents.

Large sections of the home support at Upton Park jeered each of Allardyce's three substitutions in the second half before a chorus of boos greeted the full-time whistle.

Mile Jedinak had put Palace in front with a penalty just before the hour mark and West Ham rarely looked like scoring an equaliser as they struggled to create chances and conceded possession cheaply on a number of occasions.

It is not the first time the Hammers players have experienced a hostile atmosphere from their own supporters this season after the team were booed off last month despite beating Hull 2-1.

"I always have sympathy with the fans' frustrations," Allardyce said after watching his side suffer their third successive defeat.

"I'm as frustrated as they are and I don't want to see my team lose a game of football, particularly at home.

"At the end of the day though it's difficult when you are playing a team that is very good at what they do.

"Palace have hardly conceded more than one goal in any of their last 10 or 11 games so we knew we had to score the first goal and try to win the game 1-0.

"If we got more than that then fine but our finishing failed us and perhaps the referee failed us too."

 

West Ham are seven points clear of the relegation places ahead of Saturday's fixture away to fellow strugglers West Brom.

Allardyce's side, who have 37 points, are unlikely to be dragged into the bottom three but will be keen to seal survival at the Hawthorns with difficult games against Tottenham and Manchester City to finish.

"We've got West Brom next which is the most important game for us to concentrate on and try to go play as well as we've been playing but make sure we get a result," Allardyce said.

"Certainly the last two home games here, having got nothing and losing both games by three penalties, is a bit difficult to take to say the least.

"At least we've got the points gap so it looks like we're not going to put ourselves under too much pressure but we are under some pressure now.

"We've lost all of our last three games so we have to put that right at West Brom on Saturday - it's that simple."

Upton Park rose to its feet before kick-off to give a minute's applause in memory of former West Ham striker Dylan Tombides who died of cancer on Friday aged 20.

The club have retired Tombides' number 38 shirt and supporters paid tribute to the player again during the 38th minute of the match.

"Football doesn't mean too much to me today after what happened to Dylan," Allardyce said.

"When I heard the news of him passing away my thoughts were with him and his family - my sympathies are with them.

"It's a sad, sad day for their family, for us and for a young man who put up such a great fight to live and continue to play football."

PA

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