West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce has hit back at his critics in the wake of their courageous draw at Chelsea. Big Sam wrote in the London Evening Standard: "I would like to take this opportunity to make a couple of points about the criticism we've received in the last couple of months.

"The first is the scant or even non-recognition of the injuries we've sustained. Most people saw our defensive unit against Chelsea and that was still without Winston Reid. We had central defenders and full-backs fit and playing in their rightful positions.

"That is fact, as was Everton's team against Liverpool earlier this week. No Sylvain Distin, no Seamus Coleman. Result? They conceded four goals.

"I would also like to recall the merciless stick we took after the two cup defeats against Manchester City. Just look at their two Premier League results against Tottenham, who have spent £110million - 11-1 in two games!

"People need to get real and sometimes listen to the reasons rather than peddle the ill-informed negativity. We know we're still in trouble and need to work hard but the truth is that injuries have been 95 per cent of our problems."