West Ham United have denied Steven Gerrard’s claims that Sam Allardyce’s side “tried everything to upset” Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s match.
Liverpool beat the Hammers 2-1 at Upton Park on Sunday courtesy of two Gerrard penalties, but the Reds captain told the Daily Mail afterwards: “We knew what to expect and we got a bit more than we expected -- a hot dressing room, a dry pitch and the bus had to park a mile away.
“I think they tried everything to upset us. It was a good test of character. They were throwing 70 yard balls into our penalty box from every different angle. They have got giants in there who are going up with their elbows and we stood really strong.”
West Ham co-chairman David Gold used his Twitter account to play down his claims.
Mr Gerrard nobody force your bus driver to park a mile away from the ground, it was his choice. If the heating is too warm, turn it down. dg— David Gold (@davidgold) April 8, 2014
When pressed on his comments, Gold added: “I'm simply saying that Gerrard's comments in the Mail were incorrect. I'm not saying for one moment he lied, I'm saying he is mistaken.”
The club also published an article on their official website disputing the remarks.
It read: “Reds captain Steven Gerrard light-heartedly claimed he and his teammates had to walk 'a mile' to reach the stadium. However, the unusual parking location is estimated to have added around 20 metres to the usual walk from the coach door to the players' entrance.
“Gerrard, whose two penalties won a tight contest 2-1 for the visitors, also claimed that West Ham 'tried everything to upset us', when he and his teammates had been escorted to and from their dressing room by West Ham's own security staff and police.
“Another suggestion was that the visitors were housed in a 'hot' dressing room, which caused some bemusement as West Ham staff received no complaint about the temperature from the visitors. Of course, West Ham staff would have been happy to turn up the air conditioning at our opponents' request.
“Finally, the consistent overnight rain that fell on the Boleyn Ground on Saturday meant that the 'dry' playing surface might have been a little wetter than was suggested.
“West Ham United make every provision for visiting staff, players and supporters at the Boleyn Ground and are proud of the East End welcome the club provides.”