West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce is happy that the fixture computer has handed his side a home game to start the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.

The Hammers began last season, their first back into the top flight, by beating Aston Villa 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground, and went on to enjoy an impressive home record throughout the campaign.

With Cardiff City due to face the Hammers in E13 first up on Saturday 17 August, Allardyce is determined to carry that success into the new term.

SEE THE FULL 2013/14 FIXTURE LIST HERE

"The fixtures have been kind to us at the start of the season as they were last season," Big Sam exclusively told whufc.com

"It will be important to challenge the players to try to achieve the same amount - 14 points from our first eight games - as they did last season. The ones that are important are the newly promoted sides and we've got Cardiff first game, which I think is the toughest time to get them in the whole season.

"I'm pleased that at least we are playing them at home and not away. It casts my mind back to the start of my career at West Ham and a 1-0 defeat to them in my first game and I want to make sure we don't repeat that.

"The other games will be about us maintaining our home form and making people aware that when they come to West Ham they will be in for a tough afternoon because we play attacking football against the opposition and create chances."

West Ham's first game on the road comes at Newcastle United on 24 August and Allardyce knows next season's away form needs to be better.

"One thing we must also do is ensure our away form improves," he continued. "Our first away game is Newcastle United. Myself, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan are all ex-Newcastle and it will spur us on to get the first away points on the board as we did last year.

"They had such a splendid season the year before and nobody expected us to win there. It is a daunting task but so far I've managed to get results there and I've not been disappointed with West Ham or Blackburn.

"The run-in has some tough games but the only thing in my mind is that the results will have a bearing on which place we finishing and we're not anxious about needing points to stay in the Premier League. That is our major aim and if that's the case we should all be delighted."