ALLARDYCE DISAPPOINTED WITH MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Sam Allardyce has said that he is extremely disappointed with the way West Ham United lost the opportunity to go level on points with Southampton at the top of the Championship table.

West Ham United could only manage a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City in the latest round of Championship fixtures, which also gave Southampton the opportunity to extend a small three point lead at the top of the table.

Most importantly, the match resulted in the bookings for Kevin Nolan, George McCartney and Julien Faubert. They will be suspended for the crucial match against Derby County, and this is yet another source of concern for the former Blackburn manager. Nolan was lucky to end the match with just a booking - at some stages an in-play Championship bet on him being red-carded was odds-on!

West Ham United have been sensational in the Championship so far, but they have been unable to get to the top spot due to the exploits of Southampton. Recently, they went level on points with the South Coast side, but they now have lost the advantage after Southampton managed to win 2-0 against Crystal Palace.

West Ham United have 44 points, while Southampton have 47 points with both teams having played the same number of matches. West Ham United took the lead through Carlton Cole, whose eighth goal of the season looked enough for West Ham United.

However, Birmingham city equalised through David Murphy with only 9 min of normal time remaining. It proved to be the decisive goal, as West Ham United were unable to take the lead again.

"Unfortunately we didn't capitalise upon what was a great first‑half performance. Birmingham is a difficult place to come to at any time but I am disappointed we didn't win the game. But our big problem now is the three suspensions for the next game means I do not know where I am going to get the players from to fill these positions," Sam Allardyce said after the match.