'He knows how to win matches'

Sam Allardyce will bring "team spirit, unity, organisation and leadership", according to former Hammers midfielder Martin Allen.

The Notts County manager was unstinting in his praise for his new counterpart at West Ham United, claiming he was just the man to get his old club promoted. "What a great manager, a good bloke, a good person," Allen told West Ham TV.

"He knows how to win matches. He has at times been labelled unfairly as direct. He has brought quality players into Bolton over the years and done a terrific job. He is just what West Ham need at the moment."

Allen said he was certain the club would be celebrating next May, although knows the Championship will be a tough challenge - as will his own campaign with County in League One. "I think West Ham will be champions. Sam will deal with it and put his mark right across the whole club.

"The advantage this club has got is that it has got has some fantastic young players that love this club. Sam will give them a vision and he will let every person that is playing know how exactly he wants to play.

"Team spirit, unity, organisation and leadership from the manager, with a strong character - that is now what it needs with a relegated club.

"These young players, I am sure with Sam's guidance will grab it by the scruff of the neck and he will bring in some men to join these young players to take it forward, without a shadow of doubt."

Allen said he hoped to play a part in the development of the club's next generation, by taking one or two promising Academy aces on loan to Meadow Lane. "Sam used to be the manager at Notts County and I have heard he has still got a soft spot for the club.

"No doubt over the next few weeks, I am going to be ringing up and saying 'Sam can I have some of your players, please?' and hopefully he will be generous and kind!

"Hopefully he will trust us and me personally to look after maybe some of the younger players here at West Ham and send them up to us for part of their grounding and development."