Sam Allardyce gains respite from West Ham's win at Cardiff

• Sam Allardyce sees 10-man West Ham see off Cardiff
• Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unhappy with side's first-half display

West Ham ended their traumatic week with a 2-0 win at Cardiff that lifted them out of the bottom three in the Premier League, easing the pressure on Sam Allardyce, their embattled manager.

Allardyce declined to speak to the media after the match, leaving his assistant, Neil McDonald, to say how pleased they both were with the spirit the players had shown, especially when they went down to 10 men after the dismissal of the centre-back James Tomkins in the 70th minute for his second yellow card.

Carlton Cole and Mark Noble scored the goals but the travelling support cheered loudest for the return of Andy Carroll, their England centre forward, who came on as a second-half substitute for his first appearance since May. The result brought much-needed relief for Allardyce and his team after 5-0 and 6-0 defeats in their previous two matches, although Guy Demel was carried off and went to hospital after lengthy treatment for a head injury.

It was a deflating first home game in charge for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Cardiff's new manager, especially after last weekend's hugely encouraging FA Cup win at Newcastle. Solskjaer said: "The first half surprised me because we didn't have any energy and enthusiasm. Why? The game never got going after a lot of stoppages. For the second half Craig Bellamy came on and made a big difference, getting us on to the front foot."

Cardiff, whose accounts reveal they are £118m in debt, drop into the bottom three for the first time this season, and their next two league matches are against Manchester City and Manchester United, both away. Solskjaer, however, insisted there was "no panic" and introduced a new signing, Mats Moller Daehli, an 18-year-old midfielder from his former club, Molde. Daehli, believed to have cost £1m, was at Manchester United's academy as a 15‑year-old.

Solskjaer said: "Max is an outstanding talent who made his debut for Norway in November. Man United had the option to take him back but he has chosen to come here. He's an inside midfielder who likes to get between the lines and take people on."

comments powered by Disqus