Belfast Telegraph

West Ham United 2 - 0 Norwich City: Lennox fires up Hammers to deliver knock-out

Lennox Lewis revealed he had given West Ham a pre-match pep talk ahead of their clash with fellow strugglers Norwich – and it was James Collins and Mohamed Diame who delivered the late blows that settled this contest.

The former undisputed heavyweight world champion is a big Hammers fan and was guest of honour at last night's match at Upton Park.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has now seen the club enjoy three consecutive Premier League wins, moving up to 10th.

"It is just delightful," Allardyce commented.

"An outstanding victory and a hard-earned win – 13 points from six games is a terrific run of form considering where we were and the trouble we were in.

"Even 10th might not be out of trouble – we have to continue and get more results.

"It's a great end to an important run of fixtures. If Norwich continue like that, they will have no problems. They were very good and gave us a good game."

Allardyce again singled out the heroics of goalkeeper Adrian.

"Our goalkeeper kept us in the game," Allardyce said.

"We scored late, when it is hard for anybody to come back into it – his reward was us winning it."

Norwich manager Chris Hughton was once again left ruing the inability of his players to convert their chances.

Summer signing Gary Hooper spurned the best of the visitors' chances.

Robert Snodgrass and Alex Tettey also saw decent efforts kept out by the Spaniard before James Collins headed home a Mo Diame cross with six minutes remaining, paving the way for a 2-0 win.

As Norwich poured forward in search of a deserved equaliser, second-half substitute Diame was released into the Canaries' half and finished the game off deep into added time.

Norwich are down in 16th – with Hughton bemoaning his side's missed chances.

"I am very, very frustrated," he said.

"When you come here, you know you'll be up against a direct and physical game and you have to match them. For nearly all the game we were able to do that but you rely on getting a little release by scoring goals.

"No-one can say we didn't attempt to get into goal areas and didn't create chances. It is a bit too familiar, creating chances and not putting them away. We put more pressure on ourselves.

"The first goal is a ball we dealt with all game and on that one occasion we didn't.

"When you don't get the lead that you think you deserve, you are always under pressure. It's the first goal that hurt us and the missed chances."

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