Neil McDonald is expecting West Ham United to make a number of changes from the team that suffered defeat against Wigan Athletic in the Capital One Cup last week.

The likes of Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Winston Reid, James Collins, Momo Diame, Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole all sat out the defeat and are likely to be recalled as the Hammers target their 21st win against the Hoops on Monday evening. A three-point return would also be West Ham United's first away win of the season, with assistant manager McDonald stating his belief that success simply rides on the side rediscovering their record-breaking away form from the Championship last term.

"We've only played a couple of away games this season so far," said McDonald. "In the Championship we had a formidable record last season and we've got to try to take that on.

"It's a lot more difficult when you come into the Premier League but we got a good point away from home at Norwich and we're looking forward to going to QPR to try and get our first three points.

"The London derby games are difficult and there's local rivalry there. We'll be looking forward to the game and it's something we hope we can get something out of."

Monday's hosts have a number of injury concerns in defence with former Hammer Anton Ferdinand among those doubtful for the fixture. Despite their problems at the back, 'Macca' is expecting the match to be as tough as anything West Ham United have faced in the Barclays Premier League so far.

"They've come out of the blocks strongly in the last two games and we have to be ready for that. We have to be patient and then impose our own game on them.

"They've made a few signings and it does take time to gel. You might be playing a different formation or a different way. It takes time to get to know everyone and how the system and the dynamics work between the team. Hopefully it doesn't all come together for them on Monday night."

After registering more than five times as many shots on goal and 200 more passes than Sunderland last weekend, McDonald may rightly feel that the Hammers have a chance of leaving west London with a result. The impact of Matt Jarvis from the bench in that game repeatedly had fans on their feet and Big Sam and McDonald must now decide if the summer recruit will maintain his place after starting against Wigan on Tuesday.

McDonald said: "Matt is biding his time and when a new player comes in it gives them a chance to sit back and look at everything and see how it works and enjoy training without too much pressure. He's definitely ready to go back in the team if the manager picks him. There's competition for places in the team.

"It's testament to everyone else that's in the team. Sam's always had a reputation that if you play well you stay in the team. Whoever can't get in the team, and it might be a record signing, they have to wait for their chance to come along and when that chance does come along they've got to be ready.

"Long-term I think he'll bring excellent retention of the ball, he'll bring balls in the box to help people score goals and he's high energy as well. Those three things are vital to any team."

Modibo Maiga did his claims for a starting spot no harm at all with another goal on his second start for the club against the Latics. Macca is happy to see that the Mali international is edging ever closer to his full Barclays Premier League debut.

"I think that his chance will be coming. It takes time for the foreign players when they come in to adjust, not just to the training but to the pace of the Premier League. He's gradually got better and better as time's gone on and now he's ready and waiting for his chance."

Although the QPR match may come too soon for Maiga's fellow forward and new recruit Andy Carroll, McDonald has been impressed with his desire to get back to full fitness. While talk of his return for the Arsenal game has led to nearly every ticket for the game already selling out, McDonald and the coaching staff are taking it day by day.

"We have to be very careful to make sure he's fit and that the injury is gone altogether. It will be a big blow if he comes back too early and injures himself as he's an important member of the squad. He will be a big part of our goal of staying in the Premier League when he is fit.

"You saw when he first came in against Fulham that he gave the players and the crowd a lift and we have to make sure that he is fit and well before we put him back in."

The Wigan game was only the Hammers' second home defeat of the calendar year and although exiting a cup is never a pleasant experience, McDonald believes one of the few positives is that the Hammers can now focus on their league form until the FA Cup campaign begins early next year.

"When you get beaten 4-1 you deserve a bit of criticism. If it had been in the league it would have hurt that little bit more.

"It's in the League Cup, but our main priority is the league form. It is disappointing and it's a little kick up the backside to the ones that have been banging on the manager's door and didn't really perform as well as we know they can."

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