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More to come from Jussi - Allardyce
Published : 16 Sep 2012 23:17:20
Sam Allardyce was never in doubt West Ham would soon get the best out of veteran goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen once again.
The 37-year-old Finn produced a fine double save in the first half against Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday, before tipping over Simeon Jackson's 51st-minute drive and then turning away two stoppage-time efforts from substitute Harry Kane and Robert Snodgrass to help secure a goalless draw.
Allardyce feels his former number one at Bolton - signed on a free transfer earlier in the summer - is back towards his best form. And he said: "If you look at Brad Friedel, he is 41 now, so we know that being in your mid to late 30s is not a problem any more. It is using that experience and having the dedication to keep your body right, which Jussi does."
He added: "The big man is there to do a job and he has done the job superbly well for us.
"I know that Jussi's strength was the coaching that Fred Barber used to give him at Bolton, which he lost. I knew that when he got with here with Martyn Margetson, that Marge would sort him out, put him back into a right good frame of mind and rekindle all the old experience he used to have.
"Perhaps he had lost faith in himself a little bit and lost faith because he wasn't playing, but Marge has rekindled his confidence and put him in the right frame of mind."
West Ham recorded a third clean sheet from their four games back in the Barclays Premier League, and showed few signs of the defensive nightmare which saw them ship three at Swansea in the last away game. Allardyce feels those strengths will prove "critical" for the challenges ahead.
He said: "Every time you don't concede a goal you know you have got a point at least. The good thing from our point of view, is that when the front players know that one goal is going to win us a game and it's three points because defensively we are so sound.
"It is critical to the success of the side because the confidence throughout the team grows.
"Strikers know if they miss one it is not going to bother us too much if we continue to defend like we do, because the next one they get - if they score - can actually win us the game. Hopefully we will continue that for a long period of time."