Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce says it is imperative that West Ham United give them themselves the perfect springboard for Saturday's pivotal game with Reading by beating Peterborough on Tuesday evening.

The West Ham United manager was frustrated after leaving Burnley with only a single point despite dominating Saturday's 1-1 draw, but knows there is little time to dwell on the result with the London Road clash arriving so soon. If the Hammers are going to narrow the gap to second-placed Reading to just one point then Big Sam knows his team have to be more ruthless in front of goal than they were in Lancashire.

"If I get a performance like that then I'm sure we can win," Big Sam said. "We deserved a win on Saturday so let's make sure we get it on Tuesday. We play Reading on Saturday and that's our chance to get back into second sport.

"I'm disappointed by the end result, not at all by the total performance that we gave for 90 minutes. I'm not disappointed with the chances created, just massively disappointed that our final finish wasn't good enough again.

"We controlled the game from start to finish, not just the second-half performance as it was there in the first half. Sloppy defending from us and good finishing from Burnley got them in front.

"We have to pick ourselves up and go again and if we have another performance like this I'm confident we'll win."

The Peterborough fixture was originally scheduled for February but snow and ice got the better of London Road pitch that day and as a result the Hammers are one fixture behind their promotion rivals. A win on Tuesday, followed by a win against the Royals on Saturday would put Big Sam's side back in the driving seat for automatic promotion.

"It's a big game as it's our game in hand and then after that it's Reading so if we really want to get amongst the automatic promotion side of it we've got to beat Peterborough. If we beat Reading we know we go back to second spot.

"We know we've got to go back after Saturday's disappointment, It's sad we can't go there on the crest of a wave after getting the three points we deserved."

The Hammers did have the ball in the back of the Burnley goal three times, but sadly on the first of those occasions, the referee deemed Kevin Nolan had fouled his marker before planting a header into the corner of the net. The disallowed effort came seconds after the hosts had taken the lead and if the strike had stood, it could have made for quite a different final outcome.

"That was at a critical time and we might well be sat here with a win. It's more our own fault than the officials though. That alone was a big decision that went against us but the amount of times we had chances for that to not affect the result was massive.

One of the plus points from the Burnley result was that the Hammers are now unbeaten in ten games, although just three of that run have been wins. Allardyce knows that statistic has to change if the Hammers are to fulfil their ambition of automatic promotion.

"Not converting our chances has really left me disappointed. We'd have been on a massive high if we'd come back from 2-0 down, which is what we should've done.

"We should have won 4-2 or 5-2 or 6-3 and that would probably be the turning point for us to go on and get automatic promotion but now it has become more difficult.

"We've had seven draws and three victories out of ten but it should be the other way round. It's costing us dear at the moment but we're still in with a shout with eight massive games to go so let's turn the draws back into victories."