"They haven't been beaten yet which tells you how they are going to come to Upton Park; they aren't going to give anything away," he says.
"They are well organised and will keep it tight; they will probably play 4-5-1 and will be hard to break down - it is a scenario we had at Upton Park last year and one where we will have to be patient.
"I have always had the philosophy that you attack and I will not be any different but sometimes last year we were a bit rushed in our attacks and we need to be more patient - that is one of the reasons I brought Teddy in, to bring some intelligence to our attacks, especially at home."
Steve Bywater returns in goal after being on the bench on Tuesday but Alan is keen to point out that is not to decry James' performance against Southend.
"Stephen will play in goal at the weekend but Jim did well the other night," says Alan.
"I think James Walker has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Football League for the last four years.
"I was just surprised he hadn't got a move to a bigger club before I got him, and I am very lucky to have him.
"Jim Walker will not just accept the reserve jersey and sit by to let Stephen have it, he will fight for it - and that is the competition you want.
"We do have it in the goalkeeping positions, we do have it in some way in the midfield, but we haven't got that in enough areas - not in defence, where I am looking to strengthen."
Nonetheless, Alan recognises that a new defensive talent is emerging at the club in the form of Elliot Ward, who made his debut against the Shrimpers, and he says:
"He did well after being pulled back from Peterborough because of our situation.
"He hadn't really trained with us, went straight into our first team and has done exceptionally well.
"He knows he needs to work, especially on the physical side of his game, because he is a big lad.
"But he has thinned down, he looks fitter and trimmer, and I thought he played well.
"Him and Trent, the whole back four, had not worked together, though obviously they have seen us work so the benefits of the structure we have in place was evident.
"But you have to put it down to the individuals; they were terrific and that win wasn't about coaching or organisation, it was about them as players knowing what it was about and dealing with it.
"He has been out for a year and that year would have been important to him in terms of getting accustomed to his role because it is one of the difficult ones to learn.
"But hopefully he will gain that experience quickly - which Anton is doing now in the first team."
As for Mark Noble's debut, he adds:
"It was long-awaited because we feel Mark is going to be a great player for West Ham; his body is not fully formed yet, but when it is he will be threatening for a place at this club, because he is a major talent."
Sergei Rebrov is likely to be on the bench against Burnley, and Alan adds:
"He had no real pre-season so we are trying to play catch-up with him; we have played him in two or three games and feel he can do a lot better, as does he - the best is yet to come from him."
As for Marlon Harewood, who opened his account for the season against Southend, Alan says:
"Other than the Wigan game he has been right at it; apart from that he just needed the goals and hopefully they will help him.
"It is not all just about scoring goals; he is there to assist and create them as well - to be a team player, which he is.
"And as long as the team is winning I am not bothered how many goals he gets."
Alan has not ruled out him playing on the right again and adds:
"Marlon just wants to play for West Ham United and he will play wherever it makes us stronger as a team.
"Bobby Zamora was flying in pre-season and one was ahead of the other and then vice-versa - that is the competition you want in every position.
"And obviously you have got Teddy and Rebrov perhaps fighting for that other role, which is more of a link role.
"We are very strong in that department - as strong, I would suggest, as anyone."
Alan knows it is a crucial weekend before a near two week break for internationals, and he adds:
"The bottom line on West Ham in this division is that the pressure is on us to win."
Steve Lomas returns to the squad, if not the starting line-up, against Burnley, and Alan adds:
"Steve has only had one game but obviously we are a bit short."
Luke Chadwick is set to retain his place on the right against the side for whom he spent a season on loan, and Alan is pleased with the way he has settled in.
"I know what Luke is about; he had a wee chance and he took it, then he had another little chance and he took that, playing very well at Crewe," he says.
"So he has got the role and it is up to Luke now; I have said all along it is not about me or West Ham, it is about Luke because he has been in the shadows at Manchester United a long time and he has come out of them.
"If he emerges as he can do he is going to be a big player for West Ham."
As for the Carling Cup draw against Notts. County, he says:
"It is a good draw because it is a home one and any side coming to our ground is going to have difficulties."
SQUAD: Bywater, Walker, Repka, Brevett, Rebrov, Reo-Coker, Ferdinand, Lomas, Garcia, Sofiane, Mullins, Sheringham, Nowland, Etherington, Chadwick, Cohen, Harewood, McClenahan, Ward.