Manager delighted with final flourish

Sam Allardyce lauded skipper Kevin Nolan's stylish hat-trick, as the ever-reliable midfielder's goals paved the way for a thrilling 4-2 win over Reading to round off West Ham United's first season back in the Barclays Premier League.

Nolan and Ricardo Vaz Te had fired the Hammers into a two-goal lead prior to the break, before Garath McCleary and Adam Le Fondre restored parity within ten second-half minutes.

But Big Sam's side were soon back in the ascendency as Nolan scooped his first triple for the club, wrapping up the three points with a composed neat near-post finish and then a close-range header.

A ninth home win of the campaign was no more than the Hammers deserved and Allardyce rightly heaped praise on his captain fantastic.         

"In the opposition's box he has always been top class," he told "It's another ten-goal haul in the Premier League. Finishing the season with a hat-trick has got to be thrilling for him, his family, the fans and everyone connected with West Ham.

"It was a thrilling performance and a game. Because we had that 15 minutes where we all thought we were going to come out in the second half and continue where we left off. Reading stunned us and scored two very clever goals.

"But the team got their composure back again and when we needed Kevin again, that's what he's good at. When he scores his goals, they're always very important."

Not only was Nolan's triple the so-called perfect hat-trick, left-foot, right-foot, header, but also the club's first in the Premier League since Marlon Harewood in 2005, and Big Sam was suitably impressed with all four of the Hammers' goals.

He added: "We knew that they were going to try and play it out the back, so our tactics were to hunt them down and try to stop that and that paid off brilliantly with the first goal. Forcing the opposition into a mistake in their own box and then there's no reprieve.

"Obviously, his second goal, was great composure, one-on-one with the keeper. He kept his cool, didn't panic, slotted it in the bottom corner. Then his third goal, arriving late in the box, was a great cross from Maiga.

"The one that he missed was probably the easiest one, but I have to say it was a wonder save from Alex McCarthy, who touched it onto the bar.

"The quality of Vaz Te's goal, not just the finish but the build-up means that for only 15 minutes we weren't very good, for the rest it was great entertainment and a great way to finish the season."

Andy Carroll was the architect of both of the Hammers' first two goals and Big Sam subsequently confessed that he is keen to see the powerful frontman start next season a West Ham United player.                                    

"He'll be disappointed he didn't score. You see his all-round ability showing more and more in every game that he plays. It's not just about his aerial prowess in the box, it's about his overall game, his hold up play, his quality on the ball and his retention of possession.

"He makes life very difficult for centre halves and his all round game is getting better and better. He is, obviously, our target to make it a permanent signing if we can. Hopefully we can get somewhere in the near future to do that.

"It's our main priority at the moment. We have to pursue that to the very end, one way or the other and find out as quickly as we can whether it's going to be a yes or a no. So that'll be the first priority. And of course, if we can start with Andy Carroll that will be a great achievement for us.

"At his young age, he can only get better and better in terms of his playing prowess. Then I think we build around that in terms of what we want to improve next.

"There's a player that's wanting to enjoy his football. He lives for his football, he wants to play every game. There was a 60-yard chase at one point, where he ended up tackling a Reading midfielder and I think that says it all."

2013-14 Season Tickets