Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce admitted he was a "happy man" as another major week for West Ham United got off to a perfect start but he was certainly not going to rest on his laurels.

While his programme notes talked of the importance of confidence not giving way to complacency, there was every reason for optimism at Chadwell Heath as the squad prepared for Bristol City's visit on Tuesday night.

The 3-2 thriller against Leicester City cemented the Hammers' hold on second place and was the perfect follow-up to the gritty 1-0 away win at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The manager knows his team have yet to string three victories together back to back this season while they have also lost their last couple of Tuesday night fixtures this campaign. Reverses against Ipswich Town and Southampton have been rare low notes but are lodged firmly in the manager's mind.

"Now we have got to make sure we can turn a Tuesday night into a win because we haven't managed to do that [since the 4-0 win against Watford on 16 August]," Big Sam said. "Let's hope we can do that against Bristol City and look forward to a very difficult game against Hull City [on Saturday] because I saw they won at home against Forest.

"It will be a big test for the players and the squad this week but we can rise to the challenge."

Allardyce has hailed the togetherness throughout his squad and rejected any media suggestions that his team were not living up to expectations. Certainly all of those he has encountered on West Ham duty have been full of praise for the way he and his coaching staff have turned things around.

"I speak to everyone here at West Ham and they tell me we are going great and winning football matches," he said with conviction. Much of Saturday's success to savour was down to Sam Baldock's brilliance, with his two goals underlining the manager's determination to secure his services over the summer.

"We have got four good strikers," Big Sam added, having only substituted the excellent John Carew because an early yellow card had put him at risk of a red.

"Everyone likes to work with four strikers, especially over 46 games. Freddie [Piquionne] came on and did a real good job as well. He was unlucky not to get himself a goal and also made the third goal for Sam. There is a good combination there and there is competition for places."

If things are going great guns up front, the manager was also delighted to welcome back Robert Green two weeks ahead of schedule but was keen to hail Manuel Almunia, who has now returned to Arsenal. The Spaniard, a hugely popular figure during his month-long stay, declined the offer of a place on the bench so as to allow Ruud Boffin to continue his matchday experience.

James Tomkins is also back, a timely occurrence given that Abdoulaye Faye is concerned about his hamstring and was replaced as a precaution. The chances are that the majority of those involved at the Boleyn on Saturday will have to go again on Tuesday and then possibly also at Hull City this weekend. The manager is focusing on the positives rather than the negatives.

"I am a happy man because are suffering a lot with the injuries and the players are playing out of position to get by. It is not affecting performances and results at the moment. When we get in the mood we seem to be very good at scoring goals. We could have had more again.

"It was a great win and a thoroughly entertaining football match. Of course, the players, staff and fans can go home very happy with a victory. Of course we got a little anxious towards the end but it was great entertainment, with great football and great goals and a great three points. I don't think you can ask for any more than that."