Sam Allardyce could not hide his pride after West Ham United secured a morale-boosting 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory at Stoke City.

Big Sam's side ended a run of five consecutive away league defeats with a thoroughly deserved win at the Britannia Stadium, with Jack Collison netting the all-important goal on the stroke of half-time.

Collison was one of two substitutes - the other being Ricardo Vaz Te - who were introduced after just eleven minutes when Matt Taylor was left concussed and Joe Cole went off with a tight hamstring. Despite the disruption, West Ham regrouped to produce a superb performance on the road.

Indeed the only moment of real concern came late on, when Charlie Adam threatened to re-create Gareth Bale's wonder-strike, only for his last-minute volley to cannon back off the crossbar.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham TV, the manager said his team had shown the organisation, spirit and determination to secure a vital three-point haul that lifted them two places to 12th in the table.

"We all know it is not an easy place to come and the way we mastered Stoke City, from their attacking point of view, was the basis to our success," said Big Sam. "Even having suffered the blow to losing Matt Taylor to severe concussion and Joe Cole to a hamstring injury, it turned out that the two substitutes who came on so early ended up being our main players from an attacking point of view.

"Because of that, we got the goal just before half-time. It was a great little pass from Vaz Te to Collison and Jack slides it into the bottom corner.

"We were really very comfortable at that stage and, although we knew Stoke would throw everything at us, we broke out and Jack and Vaz Te should have finished it off. Jack messed it up first and then it went to Vaz and he messed it up as well! I hoped that wouldn't be a big moment and gladly it wasn't.

"The only thing that worried me was when Charlie Adam volleyed that ball and I thought 'Oh, not again! Surely we can't suffer another wonder goal!' but this one hit the bar and we had that little bit of luck that we deserved.

"This was a win we deserved and a victory we're very pleased with. It's come when we have been under a lot of pressure recently and this has eased that pressure.

"We put in a huge performance last Monday [against Tottenham Hotspur] and got a hugely disappointing result, but this time we got another huge performance and a fantastic win."

Psychologically, the success at Stoke and the resulting climb up the table will give the squad a massive boost ahead of a two-week break before the trip to Chelsea on Sunday 17 March.

"We have got ten games to go and three points seems to make so much more of a difference, or appears to at this time of the season.

"Everyone comes rushing in looking to see what the other results are and if they have gone our way and made the distance between us and the bottom three greater. It has with the three points we have picked up.

"Our third away win of the season came at the right time. We couldn't have asked for it to come at a better time and it takes the pressure off us that we hadn't really deserved.

"We put ourselves under pressure by performing well in recent weeks but not picking up enough points. On Saturday, we gained a very valuable three points."

Stoke had lost just one of their previous 13 home league matches this season, putting into perspective just how good a result Saturday's victory was.

For Big Sam, turning over a team who have been very hard to beat on their own patch was hugely gratifying for everyone of a claret and blue persuasion.

"Stoke don't let you play and they stop you playing at their stadium. They do the other side of the game very well - the grafting side - and stop your flair players getting on the ball and playing.

"You have to wait to create your opportunities, which we did, but once they tired we got through them and down the side of them and got our flair players on the ball.

"I think Gary O'Neil needs a mention because he stepped up to the plate in the holding midfield role and he showed quite considerably in how we wanted to attack. He was the focus of starting our attacks off by being composed on the ball and playing little passes to Mo Diame, Jack and Vaz Te. That's what got us in behind Stoke's midfield and at their back four."

The manager also pointed to the ability to introduce senior players from the bench as a major contributory factor in Saturday's success.

"It showed the importance of a strong bench. Going through December and January with eight or nine injuries, I was struggling to get a bench up. We had kids on the bench.

"At Stoke, the substitutes gave us the opportunity to help us win, which was important."

As it has turned out, West Ham now have a two-week break to nurse the likes of Taylor, Cole, Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, James Tomkins and George McCartney back to fitness.

While he recently complained about the lack of fixtures in March, Big Sam is now pleased to have more time to get to work in the treatment room.

"A couple of weeks ago I was bragging about how the squad is back together and it's a good thing apart from us not having enough games.

"Two weeks later, we have five injured again, so perhaps missing the Manchester United game next week and having two weeks to get them ready again is a good thing now.

"We have got to see how Joe is going to be, but we hope it won't be too long. Kevin, we think won't be too long. Mark Noble we don't know when it will settle down. George should start training very shortly and the two weeks should mean we have more players available.

"Saturday showed the importance of having your squad available by the contribution made by Jack Collison and Ricardo Vaz Te."

Finally, Big Sam thanked the Claret and Blue Army for their typically vociferous support at a ground that has become synonymous with its atmosphere in recent seasons.

"Our fans were very vocal. They never stop from start to finish, because they saw the players committed and wanting to give them something.

"They have travelled away a lot this season without seeing the result they wanted. Too many times we've gone away from home and they've gone home disappointed, but on Saturday they were very happy like we all are."

West Bromwich Albion