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Tomkins calls for final-third improvement

James Tomkins has called on his team-mates to arrest their lean spell in front of goal and move West Ham clear of the relegation zone.

Sam Allardyce’s side have drawn blanks in four of their six Premier League fixtures this season, the latest of which came in Saturday’s 1-0 loss away to Hull City courtesy of Robbie Brady’s first-half penalty.

West Ham now sit just outside the bottom three in 17th position, having taken just four points this season.

The loss of transfer-window signing Andy Carroll to injury has been a contributing factor in the club’s profligacy in front of goal, but defender Tomkins believes that the players have to take more responsibility for the team’s lack of goals.

Speaking to the Daily Star, he said: “Andy Carroll is a good player and his record speaks for itself, but we have a lot of ability in the side.

“We have good strikers and on their day they will play well against anyone, but we just have to sort out that aspect of our play as we are not scoring enough.

“We are maybe down on our luck a little because things aren’t going for us but you have to earn your luck. We just have to keep working hard.”

West Ham’s loss to Hull came in controversial circumstances, with Brady going down under an aerial challenge from Joey O’Brien in the box despite minimal contact, leading to the winning goal from the spot.

The away side were further incensed in the second half when they saw their own penalty appeal turned down despite Jake Livermore appearing to handle the ball in the area.

But Tomkins refused to blame referee Kevin Friend for the loss and admitted that he and his team-mates must accept responsibility.

He added on the club’s official website: “The lad’s gone down from Joey’s challenge and he’s bought the foul really. The referee has fallen for it and it’s one of those things.

“We can’t blame the referee though, we’ve got to look at ourselves and work hard this week.

“From the penalty onwards on we looked the better team. We could have scored – we created a lot of chances – and we might have had a penalty ourselves, but the decisions have gone against us.”

Mon 30 September, 2013
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