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Sam Allardyce thinks one win will keep West Ham up

West Ham one win away from safety after valiant draw, says Allardyce

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:55 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:05 GMT, 7 April 2013

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes his side still require another win to secure their top-flight future following today's 0-0 draw at Liverpool.

The Hammers were denied a first Anfield triumph in 50 years when Lucas turned James Tomkins' goalbound header off the line five minutes from time.

Nevertheless, Allardyce's team are edging themselves away from trouble and, unlike Stoke and Norwich, seem to have played themselves into a little bit of form.

One more needed: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes his team need one more win to be safe

One more needed: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes his team need one more win to be safe

'I'd like another three points,' said Allardyce.

'It depends on the run of the teams below us because some are picking up two or three wins back to back. But we are looking up, not down.'

Tomkins and fellow centre-half James Collins were outstanding, restricting Liverpool to few clear-cut chances, even if one of them was ruled out for offside, only for TV replays to suggest Daniel Sturridge's second-half effort should have stood.

'To have won would have been a massive bonus for us as it is 50 years since we last did it,' said Allardyce.

Outstanding: James Collins (left) was excellent in keeping Luis Suarez quiet

Outstanding: James Collins (left) was excellent in keeping Luis Suarez quiet

Twisting and turning: Mo Diame (left) tries to find a way through the Liverpool defence

Twisting and turning: Mo Diame (left) tries to find a way through the Liverpool defence

'But it is still a very big point, and very well deserved.

'I don't think we have defended better away from home all season.

'Collins and Tomkins were really good when you consider how few chances Liverpool had.'

Tomkins was not able to see out the entire game, although Allardyce revealed the calf injury that forced his early departure was not too serious.

Injured: James Tomkins, who was colossal alongside Collins, went off with a calf injury

Injured: James Tomkins, who was colossal alongside Collins, went off with a calf injury

Not given: Gerrard was denied a penalty, James Tomkins adjudged to have won the ball

Not given: Gerrard was denied a penalty, James Tomkins adjudged to have won the ball

Tracking back: Ricardo Vaz Te (left) epitomises West Ham's work rate

Tracking back: Ricardo Vaz Te (left) epitomises West Ham's work rate

Sam Tomkins and Kevin Sinfield shortlisted for Golden Boot award

Tomkins and Sinfield hoping to end British drought in Golden Boot award

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 10 December 2012

England internationals Sam Tomkins and Kevin Sinfield have been nominated for the 2012 Golden Boot.

Wigan full-back Tomkins won the 2012 Man of Steel award and became England's record tryscorer while Sinfield captained Leeds to a sixth Grand Final triumph and led England to victory in the autumn international series.

The last British winner of the most prestigious individual award in rugby league was former Wigan and England captain Andrew Farrell in 2004.

Sam Tomkins

Kevin Sinfield

Years to remember: Sam Tomkins (left) and Kevin Sinfield (right)

Others shortlisted for the award, which will be announced on January 4, are Australia captain Cameron Smith, his Melbourne Storm team-mate Cooper Cronk, Canterbury full-back Ben Barba and Gold Coast forward Nate Myles.

West Ham 2 Liverpool 3: match report – James Collins own goal seals win

West Ham 2 Liverpool 3: Old boy Cole and Collins' own goal help Rodgers strike Hammer blows

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UPDATED:

18:25 GMT, 9 December 2012

Liverpool proved they could win without talismanic striker Luis Suarez as they fought from behind to take three points from Upton Park.

Uruguay international Suarez was serving a one-match ban but the Reds struck twice late in the game to seal a win that sees them leapfrog West Ham in the table.

Former Hammers' defender Glen Johnson opened the scoring for the visitors with a tremendous effort before a Mark Noble penalty and Steven Gerrard own goal turned the game in West Ham's favour before the break.

Dismay: James Collins and Jussi Jaaskelainen are stunned while Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling celebrate the winner

Dismay: James Collins and Jussi Jaaskelainen are stunned while Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling celebrate the winner

Turnaround: Joe Cole scored the equaliser for Liverpool before Shelvey (right) helped force the Collins own goal to win the game

Turnaround: Joe Cole scored the equaliser for Liverpool before Shelvey (right) helped force the Collins own goal to win the game

Match facts

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel (McCartney 46), Collins, Reid, O'Brien, Taylor (Maiga 86), Diame (Tomkins 73), Nolan, Noble, Jarvis, Cole.

Subs not used: Spiegel, Spence, O'Neil, Moncur.

Booked: Taylor.

Goal: Noble 36 (pen), Gerrard og 43.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique (Cole 27), Allen (Coates 86), Lucas (Henderson 71), Gerrard, Sterling, Shelvey, Downing.

Subs not used: Jones, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Morgan.

Booked: Gerrard, Shelvey.

Goals: Johnson 11, Cole 76, Collins og 79.

Att: 35,005.

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

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It was another West Ham academy
graduate in substitute Joe Cole who pulled the visitors level in the
second half with a James Collins own goal completing the comeback for
Liverpool.

Gerrard, returning to captain the
visitors after recovering from illness, saw an early effort deflected
behind for a corner following some good work by Jonjo Shelvey.

West Ham then had a few minutes of
dominance and Mohamed Diame, a one-time Liverpool target, saw his shot
deflect off the back of team-mate Carlton Cole and drift just wide of
Jose Reina's goal.

West Ham's Matt Jarvis was getting a
lot of the ball down the left flank but was soon found wanting when he
was tested defensively.

Gerrard played the ball out to Johnson
on the touchline and the England full-back cut inside Jarvis with ease
before arrowing a strike past the out-stretched hand of Jussi
Jaaskelainen.

Johnson did not celebrate out of
respect for his former club but the Liverpool bench was up in unison as
the visitors grabbed an early lead.

Raheem Sterling had two chances to
double Liverpool's advantage, firstly firing wide of Jaaskelainen's near
post as Gerrard's shot was cleared straight to his feet.

Moments later Johnson again got the
beating of former Wolves winger Jarvis and rolled the ball into
Sterling's path, but the 18-year-old's low drive was just off target.

West Ham started to get more into the
game after 25 minutes and again began testing the Liverpool defence with
a number of high balls into the area, with their equaliser duly coming
nine minutes before the interval.

Screamer: Glen Johnson (right) opened the scoring with a magnificent strike which nestled in the top corner

Screamer: Glen Johnson (right) opened the scoring with a magnificent strike which nestled in the top corner

Cool as you like: Mark Noble slots home his penalty to put the Hammers level

Cool as you like: Mark Noble slots home his penalty to put the Hammers level

A West Ham set-piece was cleared as
far as Guy Demel whose shot hit the arm of Joe Allen as the former
Swansea man closed him down.

Referee Lee Probert deemed the block
to be intentional and pointed to the spot, with Noble stepping up to
coolly convert the penalty.

Matthew Taylor, recalled to the
starting line-up by Sam Allardyce after making an impact as a substitute
against Chelsea last weekend, then headed high and wide from close
range as West Ham started to take control.

The spell of pressure yielded a second goal for Allardyce's side, albeit it in fortunate circumstances.

Liverpool switched off after conceding a free-kick which Noble took quickly and found Jarvis in space on the left.

Sam Allardyce

Mark Noble and Carlton Cole

Topsy turvy: Sam Allardyce (left) saw his side fall behind, go ahead and then fall behind again

Powerhouse: Mohamed Diame was running play in the centre of the park before his injury

Powerhouse: Mohamed Diame was running play in the centre of the park before his injury

The 26-year-old produced yet another
fantastic delivery into the box and the ball was sent flying past Reina
off the head of Gerrard.

Shelvey then had a good opportunity to
level on the stroke of half-time when he was picked out by Stewart
Downing but his shot was well wide.

The second half started with both
sides looking to be more creative in possession although neither Reina
nor Jaaskelainen was tested before the hour-mark.

Sterling came close to levelling as
his left-foot effort from the edge of the penalty area forced
Jaaskelainen to flick the ball over his bar for a corner.

Rising high: Steven Gerrard heads the ball into his own net

Rising high: Steven Gerrard heads the ball into his own net

Oops: Collins celebrates Gerrard's own goal... but later scored one himself

Oops: Collins celebrates Gerrard's own goal… but later scored one himself

Sympathy: Carlton Cole pats the England captain on the shoulder after his mishap

Sympathy: Carlton Cole pats the England captain on the shoulder after his mishap

Shelvey had worked hard in an
unfamiliar attacking role all afternoon and saw a header flash wide with
20 minutes remaining before Rodgers introduced Jordan Henderson in
place of the ineffectual Lucas.

A serious looking leg injury suffered
by Diame made Allardyce's afternoon even worse, with the in-form
midfielder replaced by James Tomkins after pulling up hurt.

Joe Cole had been introduced by Liverpool before the game was 30 minutes old and was warmly received by the home fans.

Access denied: Matt Taylor's free-kick was kept out

Access denied: Matt Taylor's free-kick was kept out

The former Chelsea playmaker has
struggled during his time with Liverpool and had little impact on the
game until he struck a venomous equaliser after being played in by
Sterling and, like Johnson, he refused to celebrate the goal.

The turnaround was completed just 12
minutes from time as Henderson swung in a low cross that Shelvey and
Collins competed for with the balling looping up off the boot of the
West Ham defender and over a helpless Jaaskelainen.

Sterling almost burst through to wrap
up the game for the visitors, who saw out the five minutes of stoppage
time to creep into the top half of the table.

Face down: Shelvey, who played in a relatively unfamiliar striker's position, lies in the turf

Face down: Shelvey, who played in a relatively unfamiliar striker's position, lies in the turf

Back on his feet: Shelvey forces Collins into an own goal

Back on his feet: Shelvey forces Collins into an own goal

Over the moon: Pepe Reina jumps for joy after seeing the third Liverpool goal fly in

Over the moon: Pepe Reina jumps for joy after seeing the third Liverpool goal fly in

Mark Clattenburg returns as fourth official at Tottenham

Clattenburg backed to take charge at Chelsea as return passes without incident

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 26 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg made his return to football on Sunday as the boss of his referees’ union said he hoped it would not be ‘too long’ before the 37-year-old took charge of a Chelsea game.

Clattenburg was the fourth official at White Hart Lane, the first time he had worked since being accused of making a racist remark to John Mikel Obi on October 28.

After being cleared by the FA, it was a straightforward way to get back into the action, with little to do other than hold up the board for substitutions.

Quiet chat: Mark Clattenburg with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

Quiet chat: Mark Clattenburg with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

He occasionally needed to remind the rival managers and coaching staff to desist from encroaching out of their technical areas but his only real intervention was when Jermain Defoe fouled James Tomkins midway through the second half.

Sam Allardyce wanted a booking for the Spurs striker which would have seen him sent off but he calmed down and put an arm around Clattenburg while making his point.

Afterwards, Allardyce said: ‘I just said that I’m glad to see him back and get on with your refereeing. I’m sure he’s itching and ready to be back in the middle.’

Welcome back: Clattenburg officiated for the first time since his race case

Welcome back: Clattenburg officiated for the first time since his race case

Meanwhile Alan Leighton, national secretary of Prospect, the referees’ union, believes Clattenburg is still able to officiate a match involving Chelsea despite the incident.

‘I think if there was too long a delay in refereeing Chelsea then the issue gets dragged out again,’ he said.

‘The key issue for Mark is getting back to refereeing and getting back to normal, and that means refereeing Chelsea as soon as he possibly can.’

Stoke"s smart corner routine took three days to perfect, reveals Tony Pulis

Pulis reveals Stoke's smart corner routine took three days to perfect (but it was first time Walters had found the net)

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UPDATED:

07:38 GMT, 20 November 2012

Stoke manager Tony Pulis was delighted a pre-planned set-piece paid dividends in their 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Pulis has yet to see his team win on
the road this campaign but they held high-flying West Ham after taking
the lead through Jonathan Walters in the 13th minute.

Video: watch the match highlights

Planned attack: : Six West Ham players are unable to stop Jonathan Walters scoring

Planned attack: : Six West Ham players are unable to stop Jonathan Walters scoring

Match facts

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien (Demel 77), Reid, Tomkins, McCartney, Noble, Nolan, Diame, O'Neil, Carroll (Cole 85), Maiga (Taylor 85).

Subs not used: Spiegel, Collins, Spence, Hall.

Booked: Noble.

Goal: O'Brien 48.

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson (Shotton 32), Whelan (Palacios 62), Adam, Nzonzi, Walters, Crouch, Etherington (Kightly 74).

Subs not used: Sorensen, Jones, Upson, Jerome.

Goal: Walters 13.

Att: 35,005

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Click here for the live Premier league table, stats and more

The goal came from a well-worked corner routine that saw Glenn Whelan roll the set-piece into the path of Walters' run inside the box, with the Republic of Ireland striker firing past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Pulis revealed he had been practising the routine to catch West Ham off guard and was pleased to see it make an impact.

'We have worked on it for the past three days,' he said. 'We tried it five or six times and Jonathan Walters has never scored from it so I'm glad he saved it for today.

'I spend a lot of time watching videos and watching teams and I felt if we could do this it would come off. You work on it millions and millions of times – it is lovely when it comes off.'

Pulis has not seen his side win away in the Barclays Premier League since a 2-1 victory over Blackburn on January 2 but was pleased with his players' application.

'First half I thought we played well and created the better opportunities and really we needed that second goal. The worst thing that happened to us was half-time, that took the momentum away from us,' he said.

Opener: Jonathan Walters struck from a cleverly worked corner

Opener: Jonathan Walters struck from a cleverly worked corner

'We started very sloppy in the second
half, we invited West Ham onto us and they scored a goal and from that
point onwards we need to show a lot of resilience and determination as a
group not to concede a second.'

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce felt his side were unlucky not to secure a
victory that would have seen the Hammers move up to fifth in the table.

'I think in the end we were disappointed we didn't win it, given our second-half performance,” he said.

'I think that when you put that much pressure on the opposition second
half you have got to try and a be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, a
little bit more quality and composure needed and we probably would have
won it, but at the end of the day it is another point.'

Good job: Peter Crouch celebrates the strike which put Tony Pulis' side ahead

Good job: Peter Crouch celebrates the strike which put Tony Pulis' side ahead

Shocking: West Ham had a less than impressive first half

Shocking: West Ham had a less than impressive first half

Allardyce was without injured duo Yossi Benayoun and Matt Jarvis for the
game but praised his players and reckons quality, rather than quantity,
is the key.

'I was very pleased with the second-half performance and the fact the squad has performed very well yet again,' he said.

'I think that while our numbers are not great our quality seems to be
very good and our defensive unit was very good apart, from that corner.'

That'll do: O'Brien struck just after the interval

That'll do: O'Brien struck just after the interval

Come on: Pulis' side faded as the match went on

Master stroke: Stoke boss Tony Pulis

Sale 25 Saracens 23

Sale 25 Saracens 23: Miller strikes late to earn Sharks narrow win

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 16 November 2012

Rob Miller's late penalty secured Sale Sharks' first triumph of this season's LV= Cup at the expense of Saracens at the Salford City Stadium.

Tries by Kameli Ratuvou and Joel Tomkins to go alongside 10 points from the boot of Nils Mordt gave Sarries a 20-12 half-time advantage, with Sale's response before the interval coming through Mark Cueto's score and a penalty try.

A Fraser McKenzie touchdown and a Danny Cipriani penalty took the Sharks into the lead before Ben Spencer's three-pointer edged the visitors ahead again, but Miller slotted a late penalty to earn the victory for the hosts.

Narrow win: Sale celebrate on their way to beating Saracens

Narrow win: Sale celebrate on their way to beating Saracens

With a vital Aviva Premiership encounter against Gloucester looming, Sale chose to select a weaker outfit to the one that had gone down 34-28 to London Irish the previous week.

However, it still looked stronger on paper than a Saracens team which rested the majority of their star players, particularly with Dwayne Peel and Cipriani starting at half-back for the hosts.

And the seven-times capped England international showed his quality from the off when a superb cut-out pass put Corne Uys in space.

The centre then produced a similarly sublime piece of skill to send Cueto away in the corner unopposed. Jordan Davies missed the conversion, but the home side led 5-0 after three minutes.

That advantage did not last long, though, as two scores in as many minutes put the visitors in front.

Firstly, Mordt slotted a penalty when Sale were penalised for holding on before a length-of-the-field move ended in Ratuvou touching down.

Instigated by Nick Auterac, the prop showed impressive pace to run 40 metres. Excellent support work and good hands from forwards and backs alike put the Fijian in space, and he did the rest.

Charge: Kearnan Myall of Sale Sharks is tackled by Ben Ransom of Saracens

Charge: Kearnan Myall of Sale Sharks is tackled by Ben Ransom of Saracens

It seemed to unsettle the Manchester-based outfit and Ben Ransom almost extended the away team's lead, but his jinking run was halted metres from the line.

That missed opportunity was to prove costly as the Sharks proceeded to go up the other end and score when referee Llyr ApGeraint Roberts awarded a penalty try for collapsing a maul.

But Saracens always looked dangerous with ball in hand. Another Ransom break set up a penalty opportunity which Mordt duly converted to take it to 13-12 in the visitors' favour.

Sarries full-back Ransom then rounded off an outstanding individual performance in the first half as a third menacing run allowed Tomkins to cross the whitewash, with Mordt adding the extras from out wide.

As conditions worsened for the start of the second period, the match became scrappy, but Eoin Sheriff offered the hosts hope after he was sin-binned for repeated team infringements.

And Sale took advantage of the extra man as McKenzie evaded two weak tackles to go over, Davies converting.

Cipriani and Spencer then traded three-pointers as Sarries held a one-point lead going into the closing stages, before Miller's late effort from the tee gave the Sharks victory.

Newcastle 0 West Ham 1 – match report

Newcastle 0 West Ham 1: Nolan refuses to celebrate after sinking former club

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UPDATED:

17:29 GMT, 11 November 2012

Former skipper Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his old club as West Ham condemned Newcastle to a first defeat in six games.

Nolan's 39th-minute strike, so typical of the goals he once scored for the Magpies, was enough to edge a tight encounter in which the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half but had to survive a stern examination after the break.

Newcastle were once again far from their best, but did create more than enough chances to get something out of the game and would have done but for some poor finishing and the resilience of goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced fine saves from Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa.

Is that it Kevin Nolan refused to celebrate after scoring for West Ham

Is that it Kevin Nolan refused to celebrate after scoring for West Ham

MATCH FACTS

Newcastle: Krul, Santon, Simpson (Obertan 79), Williamson, S Taylor, Ferguson, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez (Anita 24), Cisse (Sh Ameobi 45), Ba

Subs not used: Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux

Booked: Ben Arfa

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Reid, McCartney (Demel 66), Tomkins, O'Brien, Nolan, Jarvis (Maiga 34), Benayoun (O'Neil 52), Noble, Diame, Carroll

Subs not used: Spiegel, Collins, Cole, Hall

Booked: Noble, O'Brien

Goal: Nolan 37

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Opposite number Tim Krul prevented Andy
Carroll from opening his West Ham account with a 72nd-minute save with
the visitors threatening on the counter-attack.

But ultimately it was Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Newcastle after
just eight months at the helm, who was smiling as Alan Pardew was left
to bemoan another disjointed display and defeat at the hands of his
former employers in front of a largely disappointed crowd of 51,855.

There were too many familiar faces for comfort as the two sides took to
the pitch, with Nolan and Carroll key members of the Newcastle side
which fought its way back from relegation back into the top flight.

But it was perhaps the Magpies who had the greater cause for concern as
they went into the game without suspended duo Fabricio Coloccini and
Cheick Tiote, two of the men they rely most on in a scrap.

And that is exactly what it turned out to be as the Hammers launched a
series of direct balls towards Carroll and then looked to pick up the
pieces.

There was little to choose between the sides and even less to recommend
the game for much of the opening period, with both teams struggling to
find a telling final ball.

Matt Jarvis fired high and wide at one end and Papiss Cisse was
similarly wasteful at the other during the opening skirmishes, and
although Frenchman Ben Arfa lit up St James' Park with a series of
enterprising runs which left claret and blue shirts trailing in his
wake, neither goalkeeper was called upon to make a save until 25 minutes
had elapsed.

Cheer up! Nolan's team-mates were delighted with his contribution at his old club

Cheer up! Nolan's team-mates were delighted with his contribution at his old club

Even then, Jaaskelainen had little difficulty in collecting Yohan
Cabaye's dipping long-range effort and the game looked to be heading
into the break in stalemate until an explosive final few minutes.

The visitors forced their way ahead with six minutes of the half left to
play when full-back Davide Santon could only head Mark Noble's
left-wing cross out to full-back Joey O'Brien, who looked to have
dragged his right-foot shot harmlessly across the face of goal.

However, as he had done so many times at the Gallowgate End while
wearing a black and white shirt, Nolan turned up in exactly the right
place to divert it past Krul.

Remember me Andy Carroll received a mixed reception from Newcastle fans

Remember me Andy Carroll received a mixed reception from Newcastle fans

Nip and tuck: Shane Ferguson (left) tries to steal the ball in the first half

Nip and tuck: Shane Ferguson (left) tries to steal the ball in the first half

The 30-year-old really should have doubled the lead within two minutes
when he was played in by midfielder Mohamed Diame, but guided his
left-foot shot wide of the post.

Newcastle finally responded to mount a sustained assault on the West Ham
goal as time ran down and Shane Ferguson was desperately unfortunate to
see his goalbound shot hit George McCartney on the back and drop safe.

Ben Arfa saw an injury-time effort deflected into the side-netting and
Jaaskelainen got down well to parry Cabaye's well-struck effort as the
Hammers survived until the whistle.

Mixing it up: Carroll challenges former team-mate Steven Taylor

Mixing it up: Carroll challenges former team-mate Steven Taylor

The Finn came to his side's rescue once again within two minutes of the
restart when he somehow managed to claw Ba's header away after O'Brien's
attempted clearance had dropped nicely for him.

Jaaskelainen fielded another long-range effort from Cabaye four minutes
later, but was grateful to see Ba's effort from similar range fly past
his far post seconds later.

The home side might have fallen further behind had substitute Gary
O'Neil made more of the free header with which he was presented from
Nolan's 59th-minute cross.

Glad to be back Andy Carroll returned to his former club

Glad to be back Andy Carroll returned to his former club

Ben Arfa left McCartney for dead five minutes later, only to drift his
cross over Ba's head as he dived in, and the Senegal international and
Cabaye both forced saves from Jaaskelainen in quick succession.

Half-time substitute Shola Ameobi headed just wide from Cabaye's
69th-minute corner and Jaaskelainen pulled off a fine stop to keep out
Ben Arfa's drive two minutes later.

Krul blocked bravely to deny Carroll a first goal for his latest club as
the Londoners staged a breakaway with Nolan providing a tailor-made
final ball.

Sam Tomkins set to return for England against France

Tomkins ready to return for England against France but Hardaker set to keep place

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UPDATED:

00:52 GMT, 1 November 2012

Man of Steel Sam Tomkins is set to return for England's international against France at Craven Park on Saturday but his deputy Zak Hardaker could still find a place in the team.

Hardaker, who was crowned Super League's young player of the year after an outstanding season with champions Leeds, won his first cap as full-back in England's opening 80-12 rout of Wales in Wrexham last Saturday.

Tomkins missed that game with a knee injury sustained playing for Wigan in the play-offs but has now fully recovered and has been named in coach Steve McNamara's 19-man squad for the game at Hull KR.

Back in the team: Sam Tomkins is set to return for England

Back in the team: Sam Tomkins is set to return for England

England's 19-man squad:

C Ablett (Leeds), T Briscoe (Hull), R Burrow
(Leeds), J Charnley (Wigan), L Cudjoe (Huddersfield), G Ellis (Hull), R
Hall (Leeds), Z Hardaker (Leeds), B Harrison (Warrington), C Hill
(Warrington), G Hock (Wigan), J Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), M McIlorum
(Wigan), A Morley (Warrington), L Mossop (Wigan), R Myler (Warrington), K
Sinfield (Leeds, capt), S Tomkins (Wigan), K Watkins (Leeds).

The brilliant Wigan full-back is an automatic selection but McNamara has the option of switching Hardaker to the threequarters, where he spent most of his fledgling career up to this summer.

The 20-year-old former Featherstone player looked accomplished in the No 1 jersey against the Welsh and scored two of his side's 14 tries, but has extensive experience at both centre and wing.

'Zak has got some versatility,' McNamara admitted. 'We have a number of options going into the France game.

'We have healthy competition for places across all areas and no one is guaranteed their place in the team.

'The players are aware of this and continue to put in the effort in training to make sure they are prepared and ready for what should be a physical battle against France.'

Keeping his place: Zak Hardaker replaced Tomkins at the weekend but could still play against France

Keeping his place: Zak Hardaker replaced Tomkins at the weekend but could still play against France

Briscoe, who was an ever-present in England's 2011 Four Nations campaign and has scored four tries in their last three meetings with France, missed out against Wales after McNamara opted to give a debut to Wigan's freescoring winger Josh Charnley.

Charnley, who topped the Super League try chart with 31 this year, scored four touchdowns on his debut but will be vying with Ryan Hall for the other wing spot against the French.

Hall, who climbed in the top 10 of England tryscorers with a brace against Wales, needs one more touchdown to reach 150 in his career.

In the tries: Josh Charnley has been free-scoring this season

In the tries: Josh Charnley has been free-scoring this season

There is also a recall for Warrington forward Ben Harrison, who won his second cap against Papua New Guinea in the 2010 Four Nations Series, as the replacement for Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin, who has been ruled out with a hamstring strain.

The trio are added to the other 16 players from the team that thrashed the Welsh to book their place in the final against France on Sunday week.

The game has come too early for half-back Rangi Chase, who only resumed full training yesterday after sustaining a groin injury on England's training camp in South Africa, while Liam Farrell, Luke Burgess and Stefan Ratchford, the other members of McNamara's 24-strong squad, are still waiting to make their international debuts.

Leeds second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan has kept his place and will be making the 300th appearance of his career on Saturday. He has played 282 times for the Rhinos and has made 17 appearances in representative rugby.

France, who arrive on Thursday to set up a 10-day camp ahead of the final at the City of Salford Stadium, will be aiming to halt a run of 13 consecutive defeats by England going back to a 5-1 victory at Headingley in February 1981.

Sam Allardyce blames West Ham"s midfield for defeat at Wigan… and it"s Manchester City up next

Allardyce blames West Ham's midfield for defeat at Wigan… and it's Manchester City up next

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 October 2012

There may be trouble ahead for West Ham if they turn in many more performances like the lamentable effort at Wigan on Saturday.

Sam Allardyce’s side were abject – a fact acknowledged by the Hammers manager – in their 2-1 defeat at the DW Stadium and with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham coming up in November, they cannot afford to be as poor.

Allardyce offered no excuses for the loss, so bad were his team, with the midfield especially shambolic as James McArthur, James McCarthy and Shaun Maloney allowed to play among themselves at times.

Painful viewing: West Ham were dismal at Wigan

Painful viewing: West Ham were dismal at Wigan

James Tomkins’ added-time header
afforded the scoreline a veneer of respectability but a goal has barely
been less deserved and Allardyce admitted: ‘The overall team performance
was disappointing. The defence had to deal with situations on a
constant basis and if you allow that to happen it’s going to be a
difficult day. The rest of the players are not doing their job in front
of them to protect them.

‘That was down to us as a unit not doing enough in possession – not keeping the ball, playing the ball in the right areas, not taking the ball and playing quality balls to our front three.

‘It just never happened today, the quality wasn’t good enough.’

Disappointing: Kevin Nolan congratulates Wigan's James McCarthy after the final whistle

Disappointing: Kevin Nolan congratulates Wigan's James McCarthy after the final whistle

One slight complaint Allardyce did have was that referee Jon Moss did not give Andy Carroll much protection.

Carroll still has not scored for West Ham but Allardyce is more concerned about the treatment meted out to his striker by defenders, saying: ‘Referees aren’t giving him enough free kicks when he is manhandled by central defenders who, let’s face it, are having a difficult job coping with the quality that he’s got.

Firing blanks: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham

Firing blanks: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham

'Because he is 6ft 5in they don’t give
the free kicks they would perhaps give to players who are 5ft 2in.
Perhaps it is a subconscious thing.

‘Andy knows all that, he’s been there and has to be patient with it. The amount of balls he’s brought down on his chest to try and build up attacks and then getting nudged at the time he’s bringing it down and not getting the free kick makes it look like he’s giving possession away when it’s not really his fault.’

What would have been galling for Allardyce is that Wigan’s first goal was scored by a former West Ham target, Ivan Ramis.

The Hammers boss is not too perturbed by not getting the Spanish defender, however, saying: ‘The bottom line was he wasn’t quite sure whether he really wanted to come or not. It was Wigan this and Wigan that. We wondered what was happening, left it and brought James Collins in instead.’

Wigan 2 West Ham 1: Roberto Martinez sees win as launchpad

Martinez wants victory over West Ham to serve as Latics' launchpad

|

UPDATED:

18:26 GMT, 27 October 2012

Roberto Martinez hailed his side's 2-1 victory over West Ham as the start of Wigan's season as they claimed a first home win of the campaign to end a poor run.

The Latics had gone six games without a Barclays Premier League victory, losing four times, but goals from Ivan Ramis and James McArthur early in each half proved enough.

Sunning strike: Ivan Ramis centre smashes a sweet volley to give Wigan the lead

Sunning strike: Ivan Ramis centre smashes a sweet volley to give Wigan the lead

Match facts

WIGAN: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo (Watson 77), Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam.

Goals: Ramis 8, McArthur 47

Booked: Ramis, Di Santo, McCarthy

WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Reid, Collins, McCartney, Noble (Cole 63), Diame (O'Neil 72), Benayoun (Maiga 45), Nolan, Jarvis, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, O'Brien, O'Neil, Chambers, Hall.

Goals: Tomkins 90

Booked: Maiga, Noble, O'Neil

Referee: J Moss

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West Ham went into the match on the
fringe of the top four but were poor all afternoon and James Tomkins'
injury-time header came far too late to make any difference.

Manager Martinez said: 'Before the
game we knew it was a must-win game, and that's always difficult to cope
with. It brings extra expectations and all of a sudden you start
wanting to win and you don't really know how to win.

'I thought today was the complete
opposite. I thought the performance was very mature, we kept the ball
really well at times, we were a real threat and probably the most
pleasing aspect was the manner we coped with their attacking threat.

'Until the last minute we showed real
composure and I was extremely pleased with that. It was a very well
deserved three points and now is probably the start of our season.'

Ramis' opener was a strike of
quality, the defender connecting perfectly with a volley, although it
was not enough to particularly impress his manager, who insisted
set-piece goals leave him cold.

Opening salvo: Wigan's Ivan Ramis is congratulated after his stunning opener

Opening salvo: Wigan's Ivan Ramis is congratulated after his stunning opener

West Ham were also looking to sign
the 28-year-old Spaniard in the summer, and this is the second time he
has scored against them after netting in the Capital One Cup last month.

Martinez said: 'Probably we'll have
to play against West Ham more often. It was as clean a contact as you're
going to see, it was a striker's strike.

'So I'm pleased with that but I'm
even happier with Ivan Ramis's performance, what he did off the ball,
the way he was talking with the others. I think he's developing his
communication skills quite quickly and he was a real leader.'

Ivan the terror ball: Wigan's Ivan Ramis watches his volley fizz towards the West Ham net

Ivan the terror ball: Wigan's Ivan Ramis watches his volley fizz towards the West Ham net

Martinez talked in the build-up to
the game about his frustration that Wigan needed to be in a hole before
they played their best football, so Ramis's goal was the perfect start.

The defender met Jean Beausejour's corner with a stunning volley, smashing the ball beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen from 15 yards.

And the home side could easily have
extended their lead in a first half they dominated apart from a
five-minute period during which Matt Jarvis forced Ali Al Habsi into a
decent save and West Ham threatened from set-pieces.

Under pressure: Wigan's Arouna Kone (right) chases down James Collins

Under pressure: Wigan's Arouna Kone (right) chases down James Collins

Franco foiled: James Tomkins can only watch as Wigan's Franco Di Santo (left) gets in a shot

Franco foiled: James Tomkins can only watch as Wigan's Franco Di Santo (left) gets in a shot

Getting shirty: Kevin Nolan and Wigan's Franco Di Santo (right) square up

Ivan a hug: Ramos (left) celebrates his goal with Shaun Maloney

Close encounters: Kevin Nolan and Di Santo (left) square up while Ramis and Shaun Maloney celebrate

Wigan struck even quicker in the
second half, a poor kick from Jaaskelainen putting his defence under
pressure and Shaun Maloney teed up James McArthur.

That looked set to be that as West
Ham huffed and puffed without ever really looking like getting back in
the game, and when their response came it was too late.

Contrasting fortunes: Roberto Martinez

Contrasting fortunes: Sam Allardyce

Contrasting fortunes: Roberto Martinez (left) and Sam Allardyce

As the clock ticked towards 90
minutes, Tomkins saw his shot deflected on to the bar by Gary Caldwell,
then two and a half minutes into injury time the defender headed in, but
it was no consolation for West Ham boss Sam Allardyce.

The Hammers had lost only twice in
the league before today but Allardyce was highly critical of the
performance, particularly when West Ham had the ball.

Di Santo denied: Winston Reid blocks Franco Di Santo's shot

Di Santo denied: Winston Reid blocks Franco Di Santo's shot

He said: 'From start to finish we
never got going. They hadn't won a game at home and, if you stay in the
game, they get a bit more nervous.

'I'm surprised because our last away performance against QPR was outstanding and it was that performance I was asking for.

'We might have had a better start
than Wigan but we've only just got here [to the Premier League] and we
can only go out and give 100% to get a result.

'Any less than that you get punished at this level.

'Their technique was 10 times better
than ours. Our technique on the ball was ridiculously poor today. The
one thing that's got us where we are is our technique has been very good
in possession. Today was a real blow and a real shock.'