Allardyce expects more from West Ham
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits it is harder to find a reason for the Hammers' recent run of defeats than it was during their poor spell at the turn of the year.
• Thorne: Hapless Hammers
Having won four games in succession and hauling themselves out of the Premier League bottom three, Allardyce has seen his side slip to three consecutive defeats.
Those losses mean the Hammers are six points clear of the relegation zone, having played two games more than 18th-placed Sunderland, and tackle Hull at Upton Park on Wednesday evening looking to get back to winning ways.
For Allardyce it is not the first time he has had to address a worrying run this season, following a spell of seven Premier League games without a win throughout December and January.
Heavy FA Cup and Capital One Cup defeats during that period also added to the club's woes, as a host of injuries often meant Allardyce was left without a full quota of first-team players.
Now the 59-year-old, who kept his job during the difficult stage of the campaign, cannot pinpoint why his side are suffering a similar slump, beyond them lacking a clinical edge in attack and defence.
“We haven't achieved the results that the performances warranted,” Allardyce said. “That is the disappointment for me because we knew the bad times we had in December and January were really down to the limited players we had available.
“At the moment we have just not got that instinctive, killer edge on the front line and because we are going all out for it we have left the back door open a couple of times and the opposition have taken full advantage of that.”
Only Joey O'Brien and Marco Borriello will definitely miss the game against Hull as Allardyce attempts to halt the slide. The former Bolton manager was also left disappointed by the refereeing decisions he felt went against his side in the defeat to United at the weekend.
Rooney may have scored a memorable long-range volley but Allardyce believes the England international fouled James Tomkins in the build-up. He argues it was not the first time the Hammers have been on the receiving end of bad calls.
“We have fallen foul of poor decisions in all three games which is disappointing,” Allardyce said. “We have identified three times where a major decision has not been given. At Everton, Kevin Nolan got pulled down going into the box, at Stoke City we should have had a blatant penalty, and we know on Saturday night that Wayne Rooney fouled James Tomkins before he scored.
“We have to hope the next time it comes around that a referee makes a mistake that it is not against us.”
Hull, who have an FA Cup semifinal against Sheffield United on the horizon, beat West Brom in their last league game to move above West Ham in the table and they travel to east London having won their previous two away fixtures.
Allardyce has been impressed with the job Steve Bruce has done since getting the Tigers promoted last season and, despite highlighting the January acquisitions of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, is wary of Hull's entire front line.
“The additions Steve has made have turned them into a side, who in their first season, look more than capable of being safe in the Premier League,” Allardyce said.
“He did his business before the start of the season and then some in January which pushed them on again.
“With the varied striking attack, he has more than Jelavic and Long, with [Matty] Fryatt and [Yannick] Sagbo, he has an array of frontmen he can play if and when he feels necessary.
“He doesn't have to always rely on Jelavic and Long. The other guys have come in and taken them towards the FA Cup final.”