sport

Sam: City were outstanding

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce refused to criticise his side despite seeing them hammered 6-0 in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City.

The Hammers were out-played at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night as Alvaro Negredo bagged a hat-trick, Edin Dzeko scored twice and Yaya Toure scored to virtually book City a place in the final at Wembley.

"We are very disappointed obviously, but to look at Manchester City's record at home this season and what they have done to Tottenham and Manchester United, and Arsenal - we knew they had to have an off night and we had to have a really good night from our point of view," Allardyce told Sky Sports.

"The fact of the matter was that Manchester City's finishing was outstanding, never mind the build-up play. Outstanding in every sense of the word.

"We have a struggling defensive unit at the moment because of injuries and down on a bit of confidence. We have a left-back [George McCartney] playing centre-half that we got on a free transfer and it is not fair on him playing against Negredo and Dzeko today, but that is how it is.

"We got Roger Johnson who has just come and I thought he did a good job. He did as well as he could even though we got beat 6-0, but that is the problem, we haven't got a fully-fit squad. We are in a bit of hole at the moment and we have to dig ourselves out.

"Now it is not as if they hadn't done this to anyone else, if this was a team we came to and they beat us 6-0 and they hadn't done that to anyone else this season you would say this is not good enough, but we tried our best against a side that has got outstanding players because they play outstanding money."

Allardyce was asked about the performance, but he added: "What do you expect when you have got lads who are free transfers against lads who have cost hundreds of millions and are paid hundreds of millions of pounds in wages.

"You can do better than we have done but I need a fully-fit squad and have a little more confidence than we have today, but when they do Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal then sometimes you have to take it on the chin.

"It is not the right time for us to get beat 6-0, we wanted to do better in the semi-final but face facts they are a miles better squad than us and have miles better players than we have got and certainly when we want to compete against a team like Manchester city we want our best team out on the field and we can't get that out at the moment, so we have to wait until we can and try and refocus for Cardiff in just a couple of days."