'We need a goalscorer'

Julian Dicks believes a prolific striker should be top of West Ham United's shopping list this summer.

The legendary Hammers left-back admitted that a number of players will likely be heading for the Boleyn Ground exit door during the close-season, but also expects new manager Sam Allardyce to be busy himself in the transfer market.

Dicks, who played alongside the likes of Tony Cottee, Jimmy Quinn and Trevor Morley during his time with West Ham, thinks a goal-hungry frontman is vital to the club's chances of gaining promotion from the npower Championship at the first attempt.

"I think we need a goal-scorer who is going to score us 25 goals-a-season and, for me, we need a centre-half, a left-back and a right-back," he told West Ham TV, "But obviously it's down to who stays. You can always strengthen in every position but, for me, we need a striker who is going to score us plenty of goals.

"I think any club finds it difficult to bounce back at the first attempt but with Sam we definitely have the right man to do that. With his signings that he will make, he will bring in players who will work hard and big players, I think he is probably the right man for the job.

"Hopefully he can get the boys playing football and instil that work ethic, then who knows?"

Dicks also praised the club's decision to appoint Sam Allardyce as the Hammers' 14th full-time manager.

The 42-year-old expects the former Bolton Wanderers boss to instil a determination and spirit in his squad that was so evident in Dicks' own 326 appearances in a claret and blue shirt.

"I think Sam has got a proven record. He did remarkably well at Bolton and I think with 'Big Sam' you get what you see. He is a passionate man and can instil passion in the players and improve their work ethic. I think he'll be a good signing for us, hopefully."

Allardyce is well-known and respected for his use of state-of-the-art coaching methods, but Dicks believes nothing can beat old-fashioned hard work when it comes to putting together a successful football team.

"I don't know about all the modern technology and all the things as they are used now, but if it works and the club do well then people will think it's good.

"I'm old-school, though. I used to turn up, train and go home and that was it! We obviously didn't have all these new fandangled things, but if it works then it can only be good.

"The thing is that you've got to do the basics at any level. Last season, to many of the players didn't do it, but Sam will make sure they give 100 per cent which is the least you should do as a footballer.

"You have to have the better players, for me. If you have the better players and you combine that with hard work, you've obviously got a chance of getting out of the division.

"Just because we're West Ham doesn't mean we have a divine right to be promoted. We'll have to work hard in every single game."