Manager on Monday

Sam Allardyce believes his new signings can continue their impressive start to life in the Barclays Premier League when Southampton visit the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

The West Ham United manager proudly explained that he has never witnessed three new signings take to the UK's top flight so quickly after watching Aaron Cresswell, Cheik Kouyate and Mauro Zarate play an influential role in last Saturday's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace. Creswell and Kouyate were equally impressive in the Hammers' first game against Tottenham Hotspur and Big Sam is tipping them to take West Ham to new levels this season.

"It's the best I've seen three players adjust to the Premier League in my eleven or 12 years in this league," Allardyce said. "All three were good. I've seen one or two hit the ground running, but all three of them have. It was a really good comeback from last week's loss to Spurs.

"Kouyate has got the modern-day midfield player written all over him. He's high-energy, two-footed, great box to box, competes in the air and tackles. It's also great to see a player who comes in with a big smile on his face every day. He's living his dream by coming to play in the Premier League.

"I think Mauro has grown up and matured. I remember him from his spell at Birmingham, but he's been to Italy since then and back to Argentina and scored some goals. He looks a mature player with a lot of qualities in the final third, something different to what we had. He's taken his opportunity brilliantly. Hopefully he can continue to grow and improve.

"The whole team played well to start with, but with Mauro's goal, Kouyate in midfield and Aaron, who has also just joined us, it was an all-round great performance. It was an outstanding day for us after the bitter disappointment of last weekend."

Like they did for much of the game against Spurs on the opening day, the Hammers dominated their London opponents, but this time they made sure they took their chances when presented. They could have been three up and out of sight had James Tomkins' early first-half header hit the back of the net and not the bar, but other than that it was a fine example of striking while the Irons were hot.

"The quality of our finishing was superb as opening the opposition up is very difficult. You could see that by the quality of goal we had to score to beat them.

"The first one from Zarate was a fantastic finish, and a fantastic run and finish for the second from Downing. Crystal Palace couldn't complain."

Big Sam joked that his new attacking coach, Teddy Sheringham, would want to take all of the credit, but added more seriously that he feels the former England international is making a big difference on the training pitch with his strikers.

"I'm sure Teddy would say it's probably all down to him! He can do little things in the groups but the only problem we have is the sports scientists saying he's out there too long with them!

"I don't mind him taking all the credit for it if we continue to show the quality of finishes we did on Saturday."

Before the Saints game at the weekend, the Hammers host Sheffield United in an eagerly awaited Capital One Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday and, given the strength in depth he currently has available, Big Sam may opt to shuffle his pack. Aware of the importance of winning the game, though, it is likely he will still field a strong team with the likes of Diego Poyet, Ravel Morrison, Mo Diame, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho all expected to start.