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Monday 29 April Updated Thursday 19 February

Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce has stated that his main aim for next season is to ensure his team hit the target away from home on a more frequent basis.

The West Ham United manager was content with his side's efforts during Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City and in particular a spirited second-half show that created plenty of concern for the home side's defence. Andy Carroll was rewarded for the visitors' efforts by pulling one goal back late on after Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure had given Roberto Mancini's side a 2-0 lead, but Big Sam wants to see his sides offer a more sustained challenge on their travels next season.

"I said to the lads at half time that we needed to keep the ball better if we were to make a game of it and right from the very start we did that," Big Sam said. "We started to pass and play the ball and find our men better and started to create some opportunities. Our problem all season has been that we've not taken enough of them when they've arisen and we didn't again on Saturday.

"We were a lot better in the second half; we were better in possession, caused Manchester City problems defensively and had a few chances come our way. Our problem is that you've got to put the chances in the back of the net.

"It was a much improved performance by the players and there is very little you can do about Manchester City's second goal. Yaya Toure hit an outstanding shot so I can't l really criticise anyone for that.

"Just before that we had our best chance when James Collins didn't quite hit the target with Joe Hart on the floor. We missed and then they went up the other end and scored a wonder goal."

Although the Hammers have impressed at times away from home this season through wins at Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United and Stoke City and draws at West Bromwich Albion land Liverpool, the backbone of their hugely successful return to the top flight has been borne through results at the Boleyn Ground. It is no surprise then that the West Ham United faithful are snapping up Season Tickets for the 2013/14 campaign in their droves, and their loyalty is set to be rewarded with Big Sam expecting there to be some exciting new arrivals by the time the 2013/14 season kicks-off in August.

"To improve we just need to add better players, it's a simple as that. If we get better players then we improve. If we can do that then we get better and we become an established Barclays Premier League side.

"We need to score more goals away from home next season. That hasn't been a problem at home but that ratio needs to improve away from home to get up that little bit more. If we can start putting performances with the results then we'll be OK."

Other results at the weekend went in favour of Big Sam's side to ensure that despite the defeat they proudly kept their place amongst the top ten teams in the country. With a home game against Newcastle United to follow on Saturday providing an opportunity for further points, Big Sam is happy with where his side are at present.

"At the moment we are far better than where we expected to be. We didn't expect to be almost safe with four games to go. I think we'll be OK with 42 points so we're way ahead of what we expected.

"As I say, we need to get a few more goals to get the points. We'll address that in the summer and hopefully we'll find some better players to improve the squad. Before that we've three very important games, two at home and one away so we'll try to pick up as many points as we can."

Tickets for Saturday's game with Newcastle United are now all but sold out. To grab one of the last remaining tickets for the final home game against Reading, click here.

2013-14 Season Tickets


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