Record-Breakers hailed by Brown

Former Hammer of the Year Ken Brown has praised the current West Ham United side for beating the club record of most wins away from home in a season.

Brown was a member of the West Ham squad who set the record at eleven games way back in 1957-58, a season in which they also won promotion back to the top tier of English football and he has the utmost respect for the current crop of Hammers for beating that record. The defender, who was ever-present that season and won Hammer of the Year in 1959, spoke of how confidence plays such a key part in achieving such a fantastic accolade.

"Confidence is key;  you've got to believe you can win away," he said. "It is much harder today than it was in my day because everything has got quicker. It was not quite as intense in my day as it is today.

"I don't think the players will take their achievement for granted. The harder you work the better things go for you and they've got their reward for going away from home and playing with great confidence."

Manager Sam Allardyce has guided the Hammers to their incredible away record this season which has seen them pick up all three points at tough venues such as Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove Albion and Blackpool. The Hammers have amassed 41 of their total 75 points away from the Boleyn Ground this season and Brown is hopeful that before the season's end, West Ham United will go on to extend that run even further.

"It is brilliant that they have broken the record and it is just rewards for their efforts this season. Although we were proud of our record I would never have wished that this team wouldn't break it as it means they might not get promoted. Promotion is the most important thing and if that meant them beating our record to achieve it, then I'm happy."

Promotion straight back to the top flight is something Ken Brown knows all about too well having done the same thing during his managerial career. When Brown was in charge at Norwich in 1980, they won the Milk Cup and got relegated, however they managed to gain promotion back to the top tier at the first attempt.

"I've been through that as a player and then as a manager at Norwich. We won the Milk Cup but we got relegated. The lads couldn't believe it but we kept the same team and we bounced straight back," Brown said.

"You need to have belief in the players and they will respond. We kept the same team and we bounced back and got promoted."

Since 2000, of the 30 teams relegated from the Premier League, only eight have managed to bounce straight to the top tier. Brown thinks that the current West Ham United side under Big Sam still have what it takes to become the just the ninth team in the what would be eleven years to achieve such a feat.

"I think the guys have worked really well as a team. They've been functioning as a team and if someone has an off day then they get each other through it.

"That belief needs to come from the top and if they feel that the manager is going to back them and is with them day in, day out then they will give it their upmost and hopefully will be rewarded for it."