West Ham United's NZ tour was 'a trip too far'
Under pressure West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has told British media the club's New Zealand tour was a "trip too far" as he counts the costs of two shock losses and injury to star Andy Carroll.
West Ham were stung 2-1 by the Wellington Phoenix and 3-1 by Sydney FC in New Zealand.
Carroll injured an ankle training in New Zealand and faced considerable time on the sidelines.
Their demanding pre-season continued this weekend with a trip to Germany for friendlies against Schalke and Malaga.
Allardyce suggested West Ham may have taken on too much with the schedule.
Only Newcastle, who also came to New Zealand, has travelled more than West Ham among English Premier League clubs in the off-season.
"We only got back from New Zealand on Monday, which was probably a trip too far," the West Ham boss said in reports that were carried by the Daily Mail and London Evening Standard.
''Taking the journey 30 hours or so was probably too far."
Allardyce had no complaints about Kiwi hospitality, just the toll of the tour.
"They looked after us fantastically well and the games were well organised. We got a few injuries, that was the biggest disappointment."
Allardyce was under enormous pressure from club owners and there has been mass speculation in Britain that he could be sacked.
The club management have questioned his decision to buy Carroll last year and were also at odds over striker Ravel Morrison who was sidelined after groin surgery.
Allardyce has been luke warm over Ravel and that won't have changed overnight with Ravel arrested and remanded in custody until August 7 on charges of assaulting former partner Reah Mansoor, 19, and her mother Parveen Mansoor, 39.
Meanwhile, West Ham have signed the Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson on a season-long loan.
And they have opened talks with Cameroon and former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o as they look to cover the absence of Carroll.
West Ham have already signed Enner Valencia, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mauro Zarate and Diego Poyet with Allardyce under pressure to produce a more fluent style after they just managed to avoid relegation last season.
"We have tried to improve the strength and depth of the squad," he told talkSPORT.
"We have tried to go a little younger, which is important so the players can stay at the club for a period of time.
"I was speaking to the chairman the other day and there are one or two more players we are looking at.
"It is firepower we are looking for - a few more goals."