West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce believes last week's international break game against RCD Espanyol has set them up perfectly for their return to Barclays Premier League action against Southampton on Sunday.

Mark Noble's penalty handed the Hammers a 1-0 win over their Spanish opposition, and Allardyce was delighted to see his players put right the wrongs from the defeat to Stoke City ahead of their next competitive match.

The game also gave valuable pitch time to several mambers of Big Sam's squad, and he hailed the trip as a great success as West Ham now focus on their game at St Mary's.

He said: "James Tomkins, Adrian in goal, Matt Taylor, Ravel Morrison - the match practice side was very important for them on Thursday.

"From the aspect of tactical, technical and fitness, it was a very good workout. We came through with no injuries and with a victory so it was a worthwhile exercise in the international break.

"For those that played against Stoke, it was good to get that result out of their systems too. To get on the pitch and play a competitive game of football, puts it a little more in the distance, but they do have to remember that they didn't do as well as they should have done against Stoke, and make sure they don't get that low in terms of their performance again.

"Not only was it a good game on Thursday, but there were about 150 West Ham fans in the corner singing away again, and they turn up wherever we go."

Big Sam is convinced the Hammers can return to action with a bang against Southampton, as long as they take the chances which come their way.

He added: "I'm looking for us to give the kind of performance we gave at Newcastle and this time be more clinical. We've gone two games without scoring a goal now, which is something I don't like, even though we've been very good defensively.

"We need to be putting the ball in the back of the net more, so when a chance comes along at Southampton we must take it.

"We must perform to the level we did at Newcastle and take our chances, because if we don't it will be a very tough game, because we've seen the improvement they've made."

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