Sam Allardyce was beaming after West Ham made sure of their Premier League status for another season with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. In an impressive performance, West Ham earned their third victory over Spurs of the season.
Said Allardyce, "We haven't won in four games. To do it in our last home game, in a fantastic performance...It's a great thing for us."
The win was notable for the fact that the Hammers looked the stronger side even before Tottenham were reduced to 10 men after 24 minutes. On West Ham's strong start, Allardyce said, "it's important to get that first tackle in, that first pass off, that first shot or cross...then that fear disappears."
He described the opening goal, inadvertently turned in by Tottenham's Harry Kane, as "a very important goal," suggesting that Andy Carroll should claim it as his own and adding "I would."
Allardyce has been perceived to be under pressure as a fractious relationship with West Ham's fans seemed to be reaching breaking point. He was unmoved, saying, "They're entitled to disapprove, I've always said that." But the Upton Park crowd was thrilled as West Ham romped to victory on Saturday. "They showed today, they'll get behind the team when they've got something to get behind," said Allardyce.
The West Ham boss reserved his strongest praise for Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris: "But for [him], it would have been far more." The French captain pulled off a string of saves as West Ham, at times, overwhelmed the Spurs' defence. "That goalkeeper five or six top-class saves," admitted Allardyce.
West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison, currently on loan at QPR, had been spotted in the crowd, and after confirming his availability for Rangers' promotion playoffs, Allardyce revealed that, "if he does well, he'll be back with us next season." The return of the mercurial Morrison to this hard-working and underrated group of players bodes very well for West Ham indeed.
All quotations obtained firsthand.