Sam Allardyce has set his West Ham United players the target of securing back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they travel to Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Allardyce and his players are likely to travel to the North West in high spirits, with Saturday's 4-1 win against Southampton helping West Ham to their second-best start to a Barclays Premier League campaign. 

Big Sam, though, will not be letting his side rest on their laurels and will demand more of the same at the DW Stadium. Tickets are still available for Saturday's game, with West Ham being given a giant allocation of 4,800 tickets at the home of the Latics.


"We focus on Wigan away now," he said. "Our last away game was against Queens Park Rangers, which was a terrific performance and a well-deserved victory.

"Can we now go and get our first back-to-back wins in the Premier League? When you've won a game, to go and try to win the next one is a massive ask and it makes a huge difference. That's our aim. Wigan haven't won at home this season so there might be a lack of confidence there, so if we can take advantage of that then we might do back-to-back wins.

"This is a fantastic start considering we have just been promoted. We don't get too carried away because the fixtures have been very kind to us. The teams that we have played in our first eight games were very difficult but there's only Arsenal in there that might be in the top four that we've played.

"We've done the job better than I expected with 14 points from eight and we're on two or three points more than I had hoped."

Saturday's win owed much to the home side's perfect start to the second half, when Mark Noble's free-kick opener was quickly followed up by Kevin Nolan's tap-in. Big Sam believes that his side's dominance in the second period was a credit to the improvements made to the squad over the summer.

"In the second half the difference between us and them shows how far we've come. I think the players that we've brought in and added to the squad, which was tested to the full with the injuries we had, have delivered again."

Indeed, West Ham's victory was all the more impressive considering they had to contend with absence of a host of injured players, including Guy Demel, Joey O'Brien, Matt Taylor, Ricardo Vaz Te, Jack Collison and Alou Diarra.

"When we came back from the international break we had six injuries. Demel went away so I thought he was OK but we couldn't treat him. Winston Reid couldn't play because he was injured so he came back and just made his fitness test before the game.

"Joey O'Brien is out and we haven't seen Jack Collison this year. Alou Diarra has a damaged thigh and Matt Taylor was also out with calf injury but the squad stepped up to the mark, which was really pleasing for me."

Andy Carroll terrorised the Southampton back line with his imposing physicality. He was ably supported by Nolan through the middle and Yossi Benayoun and Matt Jarvis on the flanks, with Modibo Maiga making a stunning impact with his first Barclays Premier League goal soon after coming off the bench.

"Andy Carroll was putting more and more pressure on Southampton and their defenders to make more and more mistakes. We kept the pressure on them and they cracked in the end. Andy will score sooner or later but it's not about him scoring, it's about us winning. The old saying is if the front man plays well, the team plays well.

"It was great to see Modibo score and it was a terrific piece of skill as well. We all feel good with Matt Jarvis and Yossi Benayoun, who has been waiting patiently, making an impact too. Yossi wasn't in the game as much as he would have liked but when he was he showed his quality. Kevin Nolan scored again so that was great for us.

"What's important is playing well and winning, as we did on Saturday. We had nearly 35,000 fans here and in the end they went home very happy which is very important for you as a manager."

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