Sam Allardyce is delighted that West Ham United's hard work on and off the pitch during pre-season is paying off.

The West Ham United manager dedicated hours of the off-season to sourcing and securing talent to bolster his West Ham United squad, while also putting in the time on the training pitch to perfect his side's defensive shape. The result from West Ham's first two games of the Barclays Premier League season are a pair of clean sheets and just one shot on target conceded, following the 0-0 draw at Newcastle United on Saturday.

"On Saturday, you look at playing away from home in front of 50,000 fans cheering Newcastle on and then you see that they had no shots on target. That tells you everything about the quality of our defending. From that point of view I'm delighted with the team.

"We're disappointed we didn't convert our clear-cut chances as when you play away from home and create three clear-cut chances like we did you've got to take at least one of them.

"All three of them were headers and all three of them were unmarked and six yards out and not one of them hit the target. On top of that Winston Reid had a couple of really good chances and Joe Cole missed one right at the end.

"Overall though it was a great performance and a good result and we move on undefeated with one win and one draw."

Stewart Downing made his full Hammers debut and was unlucky not to score when he headed Matt Jarvis' cross back across goal at the end of the first half. His arrival last week added yet further attacking options to Allardyce's squad, which was evident on Saturday with the likes of Ricardo Vaz Te, Matt Taylor and Jack Collison not even getting on the pitch.

"We've got more talent. Stewart Downing is a little short of match practice and we've got Ravel Morrison, Mo Diame, Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole, Kevin Nolan, Downing and Modibo Maiga, who are all creative talents. We've got the defensive side right and we've got the attacking flair right, we just need to get the finishing right."

The next team to have a shot at breaking the Hammers' defensive resolve is Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night in a Capital One Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground. Ravel Morrison is likely to get his first start in claret and blue after making his Premier League debut at St James' Park, and his manager is looking forward to seeing what he can produce in front of a large home crowd.

"He's an emerging talent and we're very pleased with what he did in pre-season for us. He came on at Newcastle and is an exceptional talent who we hope we can nurture into the fray. Some people might say sticking a player on at that late stage might be risky but we've got to do it at some stage.

"We can see the talent and the only way to do it is to get him in the first team and get some minutes on the board. He'll play against Cheltenham on Tuesday and we'll see how he does and keep an eye on him.

"He's had a good season at Birmingham and he's brought that back with him in pre-season and it's great to see that talent is emerging.

"Then next week we have Stoke City. All the teams we lost to at home last season were in the top seven so we've got to emulate that if we can and we started well by beating Cardiff in our first game.

"Stoke under Mark Hughes, like they were under Tony Pulis, will be well organised but we've got to make sure we continue our home form and home victories and then we can start talking about a good start."

The summer transfer window will close at midnight next Monday and although West Ham continue to operate at the maximum of their wage limit, Big Sam was open-minded about the possibility of new arrivals before then.

"I don't think any more will come in but you never know until that window shuts. Something might turn up that the Chairman and I might fancy so we'll have to wait and see.

"I think the last week of the window will be quieter than it's ever been but you never know!"

Stoke