Sam Allardyce says he will be using this week's training at Chadwell Heath to make sure his West Ham United team learn the lessons from Saturday's defeat at Wigan Athletic ahead of Manchester City's visit the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

The Barclays Premier League champions are likely to provide the Hammers with their sternest test yet since their return to the top division and the manager is adamant that his team will not have another off-day this weekend. West Ham were second best for much of Saturday's 2-1 defeat and Big Sam knows that they cannot afford to offer City any leniency as they enter a tough-looking run of fixtures.

"You can have an off-spell but not an off-spell for 90 minutes," Big Sam said. "When you look at the fixtures we've got coming now, we've got a group that if you give anything other than your very best it is going to be a problem to get a result and even your best might not be enough.

"We had a very good performance against Arsenal and still got beaten 3-1 and now the big boys are coming round on a regular basis, we'll have to see if we can hit top form and see if we can get a result out of Saturday's game. You've got to minimalise your slip-ups."

Saturday's loss was only West Ham's third in the league this season and the failure to take maximum points prevented the Hammers securing their best-ever start to a Premier League season. Big Sam admitted that the result and performance were unexpected in the circumstances.

"I was surprised at our performance and it was the kind of performance that you know you've got to avoid when you're a newly-promoted side playing away from home. We've got to give 100 per cent in every game because we you don't we'll get punished and we didn't do that on Saturday.

"It was down to us as a unit not doing anything well enough in possession - not keeping the ball, not playing the ball in the right areas, not playing quality balls to the front-three and delivering. It just never happened, the quality wasn't good enough.

"The one thing that has got us where we are is that our technique has been very good in possession, which has kept the pressure off us at home and away from home, which is how we've managed to get results that perhaps people didn't expect us to.

"When you play at this level and you want to win a game away from home you've got to play to your best. We didn't do that on Saturday at any time at all really."

Ivan Ramis scored his second goal against West Ham this season with a stunning volley from a corner, although Allardyce argues that he may have been aided by a push on Winston Reid.

"The technique in the volley was good. Ramis has managed to get himself a bit of space by pushing Winston Reid off him so that was our first goal conceded this season off a set play, so we've been exceptionally good at those.

"The defence was having to deal with situations on a constant basis and if we allow that to happen then it'll be a difficult day for them.

Andy Carroll went into battle with Gary Caldwell, Ramis and Maynor Figueroa and often came out on top on a testing afternoon. His manager was once again pleased with the No8's efforts, but feels that he does not always get the rub of the green when it comes to refereeing decisions.

"He doesn't get given enough free-kicks as he gets manhandled by defenders struggling to handle the quality that he's got. They don't seem to give the free-kicks that they would perhaps give against shorter players. Andy knows all that, so he's just got to be patient with it."

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