WEST HAM: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce wants to sign another striker during the January transfer window because he feels his side are not clinical enough — despite seeing them beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park.
Midfielder Mark Noble (pictured below celebrating) scored the only goal of Saturday’s game from the penalty spot to keep up the Hammer’s pursuit of Championship table-toppers Southampton.
And Allardyce admits he is going to have to sign another forward after watching his side score just once in a dominant performance at Fratton Park.
They were even unable to double their lead after the sending off of David Norris and Allardyce said: “Even with all the chances we created we have only won the game by a penalty so it was very important it was put away.
“I am looking for another striker because from the chances we created we have not been clinical enough and that has been a problem.
“The good thing is we have one of the best defensive records in the league and that is a positive for us and means we will always be up where we want to be.
“Apart from the last 10 minutes of the first half we were solid defensively. We took control of a game against a side who are brilliant at home.
“We could have won more convincingly after the sending off. We are delighted with the performance and the result.”
The match started slowly but the Hammers took the lead on 24-minutes when Tal Ben Haim pulled down Winston Reid in the box and Noble converted the penalty.
Portsmouth had a good chance five minutes from the interval when Liam Lawrence curled an effort into the corner from 12-yards which was well tipped round the post by Robert Green.
From the resulting corner, Lawrence crossed for Jason Pearce whose volley was brilliantly saved by Green.
Pompey went down to 10 men on 56 minutes when Norris was given his marching orders for a tackle from behind on Reid.
Lawrence had a free-kick in the last minute from 20-yards but it hit the wall and West Ham held out for three vital points.
While Allardyce was unhappy with his strikers, Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton blasted referee Kevin Friend, accusing him of allowing the West Ham players to influence his decisions.
Appleton said: “It was not a sending off, it was harsh. I do not think it was a two-footed challenge and it was not a tackle from behind.
“The biggest disappointment was I have never seen a red card pulled out of a pocket so quickly in my life. We were put on the back foot after that.
“It was not a penalty. It was harsh. I think there was two or three West Ham players refereeing the game. We should have had a handball at the end as well.
“You need the referee to be strong and I do not think he was. I felt some of the West Ham players were having an influence on his decisions.”