Sam hails Cole display
Sam Allardyce lauded West Ham and picked out Carlton Cole for special praise after victory over Portsmouth.
Last Updated: 10/09/11 8:19pm
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce lauded his team and picked out striker Carlton Cole for special praise after an epic victory over Portsmouth.
Matthew Taylor and Henri Lansbury put the Hammers in front after Luke Varney's deflected effort went in off Cole in the eighth minute.
David Norris levelled for the visitors before Pompey skipper Liam Lawrence saw red for a second bookable offence.
Mark Noble's penalty and a Cole strike put the Hammers firmly back in control, meaning the stoppage time red card for Frederic Piquionne and Greg Halford's penalty did not affect the outcome.
"There was an awful lot of entertainment from both sides today," Allardyce said.
"It was an open attacking game from both sides, it ebbed and flowed and then we finally finished it off after Portsmouth sending saw Lawrence sent off for jumping in.
"That turned the game in our favour and we netted two very good goals.
"We were disappointed we conceded the second on the break as the midfield didn't do their job and we got caught out.
"But it was an excellent victory and it has been a while coming. It is our third home game and we've played well.
"The opposition played well against us as they all do here so it made for a very entertaining game. And we got what we wanted, which was the right result."
Allardyce admitted West Ham need to tighten up defensively if they are to sustain a promotion charge, but was impressed with his side's attacking power after seeing them net 14 goals in their past four Championship fixtures.
Cole made it four goals in successive games with a superb second-half header, which came after a recent offer from Turkish giants Galatasaray.
"There is a new energy about Carlton, everybody is telling me," said Allardyce.
"All I am seeing is a very, very good player who seems to be enjoying his time with us after a big shock after the (transfer) deadline when Galatasaray came in with an audacious bid.
"It upset the player because of the amount of money he was offered so it was hugely disappointing to face that situation, but we managed to overcome it and the reward is what we saw today - Carlton Cole in full form, full cry and enjoying his football."
While Allardyce celebrated his first victory at Upton Park, Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill was disappointed to leave east London without anything to show for his side's efforts.
"I think we were the better club today," he said. "To come to a great club like West Ham, a full house, a great place to play your football and I thought we did that well.
"I thought we were really good today and very, very unfortunate not to get three points. I thought the referee was very pernickety today with a few things."