Big Sam on a high at Hull

Sam Allardyce pointed to a devastating spell at the start of the second half that paved the way for his team's tremendous 2-0 win at Hull City.

The manager reorganised his team at the interval by replacing John Carew with Carlton Cole, who he had warming up on the KC Stadium pitch for the whole of half-time, and shifting Kevin Nolan back into a deeper-lying position. That allowed the Hammers to wrest the initiative and score goals before the hour via Sam Baldock and Jack Collison to strengthen their grip on second place.

Cole was behind both strikes. The first saw him nod Mark Noble's corner to the back post, where Baldock was waiting to pounce on the volley for his fifth Hammers goal and eleventh overall of the season. The second was a delightful team effort that once again proved the side's ability to play precise and poised football, with Cole slipping through the decisive last pass for Collison.

Naturally, Big Sam was delighted. The most praise was reserved for Robert Green, who had to be alert on a number of occasions as you would expect against a home side boasting the likes of Dele Adebola and Matt Fryatt in attack, as well as the livewire Robbie Brady off the bench. All in all it was a hard-fought contest, that saw the rearguard cope well - even with Julien Faubert having to revert to right-back in place of hamstring victim Joey O'Brien.

"It is a difficult place to come and play," the manager said, acknowledging that Hull had not lost at home since August and that he was so limited in options that promising 17-year-old defender Danny Potts - son of Steve - was on the bench.

"We know how good Hull are and we set out to see what they had to offer. We defended very well in the first half but apart from Julien Faubert's three crosses down the side, which were very good and we didn't get on the end of, I think we could have done a bit more in possession.

"We changed it around in the second half by bringing Carlton Cole on and dropping Kevin Nolan deeper into midfield. We wanted to get control and we said let's go and score first, let's go and attack Hull City from the very start."

That second-half salvo, with the Hammers roared on by 2,500 travelling fans, was what finished off the home side's hopes. "It allowed us to win the game. First the corner - a good ball, great header, great finish with Sam pulling off to score. The second goal was great passing and movement and resulted in a one-on-one and a very composed finish from Jack.

"We had won the game so we don't need to go and chase it. We can sit and let the opposition have possession in front of us and see the game out. We broke when we got the opportunity.

"We didn't do that as well as I would have liked but it was a fantastic result and a great performance in terms of how we changed tactically throughout the game. We were ruthlessly clinical when it came to our good period. We nailed Hull and come away with a well-earned 2-0 victory."

There was no doubt, though, that Green was star man and he rightly took the post-match plaudits. "You are seeing a man with great stature and great ability between the posts. At the moment, he looks pretty impregnable and the opposition come up against him and it feels like he will save everything."