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2013-05-12T23:01:00 Updated 2015-02-19T00:42:16

Big Sam is already planning

Sam Allardyce is already planning for an even brighter future at West Ham United after signing a new contract with the Club.

The manager was left disappointed following Sunday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Everton, but he is not about to let one negative result ruin two hugely positive years of work.

Big Sam was rewarded for taking the Hammers back to the top flight at the first attempt and securing their safety with a new deal, which he happily signed at the weekend.

With his and the Club's top-flight future confirmed, the boss said he is now looking forward to finishing the current campaign on a high and reaching even greater heights next term.


"I am very pleased about signing my new contract but I wasn't expecting that it was ever going to be a problem," said Big Sam. "There was a lot of speculation but it's over and done with now and we can concentrate on building for a new season.

"Really, trying to get better is our main priority, of course. I hope there will be less business to be done as there has been over my first two years. I hope there will be single figures in terms of playing coming in, unlike the double figures or beyond it [who have come in during the last two summers].

"It will bring us more stability but I've got to choose the right player to make us better for next season and not think about standing still, even though we have had a fantastic season this season."

Big Sam agreed when it was put to him that, a few minor bumps along the way, his first two years in charge in east London have pretty much gone to plan.

However, he is conscious that his side will have to rediscover the outstanding away form they showed during his first season at the helm if they are to improve in 2013/14.

"It has gone to plan," he confirmed. "One disappointing thing this season, for me, has been away from home. We've gone back to the old West Ham syndrome where it's very difficult to go away and play away from home and win.

"We've not found that to be very easy at all this season. We have managed to win three away from home and we have got some very good draws at Liverpool and Southampton when we needed them.

"At the end of the day, our players played like they had the sun and the beach in their minds. They played like they were on their holidays before they really are.

"The buoyant Everton were always going to come out all guns blazing [with David Moyes managing his last home game at Goodison Park before leaving for Manchester United] and we had to match that, but of course we didn't find the tempo and time to contend with Everton's very good play and they deserved to win.

"Improving the away results and away form will be the main priority next season. Our home form has been outstanding with performances and results.

"We have lost this game and we're very disappointed but we have one game to go and we want to win that and finish on a real high against Reading next Sunday. If we do, we'll secure 46 points which will be a really outstanding total.

"If we don't we will still have had a great season, but we will still have had a great season."

While the current season still has one match to run - a home win over relegated Reading will secure a top-ten finish - Big Sam said he and his staff are already putting plans in place for the next campaign.

Pre-season trips to the Republic of Ireland and Germany have already been confirmed, while the player recruitment staff are finalising targets and the backroom team are putting the finishing touches to summer fitness programmes for the players.

"The planning has started, but it's about affordability for us. On the money side of it, there is some there but it's not fortunes. We've got to improve the team that we've got, which has played to its maximum.

"A lot of the team that we've got were free transfers and we've got to go from that to getting better players. We've got to go into the market for them and increase the overall salary and wage budget and transfer fees because we've got to try and get better.

"As we all know, that is a very difficult job to do today, to pick players to come in and be good enough to play in the Premier League.

"We've got to go all out and that's why I'm hoping that pre-season, aside from just players in and players out, is all sorted by the weekend of 26 and 27 May. That is where we're travelling to, what we're doing, the kit, when we arrive back, when and who we're playing and what type of training programmes we're setting up are all organised.

"The players are only going to get two weeks rest and then they're going have to start doing some of the programmes themselves that they have been given.

"All that can be done and we can sit back and concentrate on new players and see when and where we can get some."

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