Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce wants West Ham United to build on his 'best point yet' since joining the club last summer.

West Ham United matched the expensively-assembled squad of Manchester City with heart and determination on Saturday to earn a thoroughly-deserved goalless draw as they kicked-off a testing run of games with an encouraging performance. Another thorough examination awaits on Sunday as Big Sam and his squad travel to Newcastle United, but the manager feels the whole party will have been boosted by the City result.

"I think it was my best point yet," Allardyce said. "They arrive as champions and you set out your gameplan and you have to earn the right to play. Once you've done that, you get the opportunity to expose the opposition's weaknesses, no matter how small they are.

"Wigan have beaten Spurs and Swansea have drawn with Chelsea so we all know it can be done and it's that type of enthusiasm that gets you that result and the subsequent belief it gives you.

"The players will have woken up on Sunday morning and will have seen we're in the top half with 15 points after ten games and we've just drawn with the champions. It gives you a massive boost of confidence as a player."

The Hammers won praise across much of Sunday's media for the way they approached the game - showing their dangerous offensive capabilities in the first half before matching it with well-organised and valiant defending in the second as the visitors hunted a winner. Big Sam's side were unlucky to see Kevin Nolan's early strike ruled out for offside, as many felt he was in an onside position when Mark Noble lofted the ball to him.

"From start to finish we've done the best we could and we maintained the standard for 95 minutes, which was really good. To do that you have to be as consistent as we were. We could have used the ball a bit better on occasions but we've worked so hard out of possession that when we won it back we didn't get any forward movement.

"We wanted to nullify the opposition so they couldn't get in the best areas and we frustrated them. What we did with the ball in the first half was impressive as we had a number of attacks that got the fans on the edge of their seats.

"I suppose the disappointing thing was that if Kevin Nolan had scored, the home crowd would have gone up even more decibels. In the end we've got a point and we're very happy with that."

Andy Carroll had arguably his best game yet for his new side as he came close to registering his first goal in claret and blue on three occasions. A first-half shot spun agonisingly wide, while a spectacular overhead kick in the second was deflected past the post for a corner.

"We'll keen on practising and encouraging Andy and to get more deliveries to him and in the end the percentages will pay off for him. Eventually the goal will come but it was always going to be difficult to create a lot of chances.

"The overhead kick was goalbound but got a deflection and the chance in the first half was close. If he keeps getting in the right areas and he gets the first one I'm sure he'll be up and running."

The only real downsides to Saturday's match were James Tomkins' absence through a groin strain and James Collins suffering a hamstring injury. Both will be assessed in earnest at Chadwell Heath on Monday, with their manager hoping for good news in the face of other injuries that have already hit his squad.

"We had James Tomkins injured on Friday and then late on we got Ginge (Collins) injured, which was a big worry for me. We put young Jordan Spence on at right-back, which was a worry as you think they are going to exploit what they might see as a weakness as he's only played a couple of games in the Premier League.

"They didn't so now it's about getting those players fit quickly. It was a fantastic performance."

Saturday's game was the third straight Boleyn Ground sell-out and with the £20 and £25 Adult tickets for the next home match with Stoke selling quickly, fans should move fast to make sure they don't miss out.

Stoke City