Sam Allardyce believes West Ham United's new-found attacking strength can help fire them to their first back-to-back Barclays Premier League wins since March 2011.

His Hammers side got off to the perfect start by beating Cardiff City 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, but will face a tough challenge to make it two from two with a trip to Newcastle United this weekend. Four of the Hammers' main offensive threats from midfield did the damage against the Bluebirds, as Matt Jarvis crossed for Joe Cole to open the scoring before a forceful run from Mark Noble paved the way for Kevin Nolan to double the advantage with 14 minutes left on the clock.

"We've added Stewart Downing, but we've also got the best crosser in the league from last season on the other side in Matt Jarvis," Allardyce said. "His quality and quantity of crosses was better than anyone else in the Premier League last season according to Prozone.

"We have Joe Cole on the other side and that's competition for places in those key areas. They're going to fight for those two places. Then they'll have to produce what we know they can in order to keep their spot. They offer opportunities for other players to get into the box and score goals so let's hope we can enjoy what they can give us."

Those widemen will need to be firing on all cylinders if Big Sam's side are indeed to make it two wins from two at St James' Park on Saturday. Nolan struck the only goal of the game in the same fixture last season, but Allardyce is leaving nothing to chance and had his squad in for training on Sunday morning to begin planning for the match.

"We went to Swansea last year in the second game and a Ginge [James Collins] backpass cost us and we lost 3-0. In the end we deserved it and the lads have got to be determined not to do it again.

"There could be a tendency to think 'we're West Ham, let's take it easy this week.' No, we've got to grit out teeth. I had the lads in on Sunday doing a warm down and making sure they were ready for Newcastle.

"Newcastle are going to be very difficult as they don't have the injuries that they had when we beat them there last season. I know having worked there when they get it right it is very hard to get a result."

The victory against Cardiff kicked-off amongst a spine-tingling Boleyn Ground atmosphere, which was boosted by the appearance of Hammers legend Billy Bonds on the pitch 15 minutes before the start. The former West Ham captain and record appearance holder collected the Club's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award in front of a worshiping claret and blue army.

"Billy's reception was outstanding and that led to a great reception for the players when they came out, which they haven't felt since we played Reading at home in the last game of last season and won 4-2.

"We only lost four games at home last year and that was why we looked so good and entertained the public. It was some achievement that we've got to try and at least match this year but with the atmosphere of the crowd and the quality of the players I think we'll shine through."

The world-class options now available to Big Sam have led him to believe this group of players is as strong as any he has had at this stage of his different managerial reigns. With high-profile arrivals secured and the possibility of more before the close of the window, a target of at least four more points than last season is achievable according to the West Ham United manager.

"Here we're improving the side by spending money on better players than we've already got. In my second year in the top flight it's as good as I've had. We've started to show that we've improved the squad and hopefully we'll continue to grow. We're aiming for 50 points - four more than last year - and that would be brilliant for us.

"Saturday was only one game but it was a great start. When the window has closed I will calculate how much money has been spent by everyone as well as ourselves and that will give us an indication on what we might be able to achieve. We've spent our money and want to keep our squad fit. We've had no new injuries on Saturday and that is great news for us."

Stoke