'We've got to build on the Cardiff win'

West Ham United legend Tony Cottee has encouraged the Hammers to build on their vital win over Cardiff City when Newcastle United visit on Saturday.

Cottee dropped in at Chadwell Heath on Friday, where he enjoyed a chat with old pal and assistant manager Neil McDonald and cast his eye over the first-team training session.

The former West Ham striker also found time to speak to West Ham TV, discussing the need to record another victory over the Magpies, the impact Andy Carroll can make and the importance of the Board's backing of manager Sam Allardyce.

"I have kept away from the Training Ground recently as it's been a difficult month for everyone at the Club," said Cottee with a smile. "I went up to the Man City game for the first leg of the semi-final and it was a really disappointing night for everyone.

"Then, of course, we got a fantastic win against Cardiff, so it is a good time for me to pop down after a victory and I'm hoping to see a few smiles on faces when I go out to watch training.

"Everything is positive but there is no point in beating Cardiff and then slipping up on Saturday in what is an important game against Newcastle."

One player who could make the difference against Newcastle is former Magpies forward Carroll, who made a winning return from eight months out with a foot injury at Cardiff.

"I don't think you can under-estimate the different Andy makes. From what I can gather, when he comes onto the training field it gives everyone a real boost, and from the fans' point of view it gives everyone a real boost.

"We're all delighted to have him back. We've all been frustrated but nobody could have been more frustrated than Andy himself As a footballer, it's such a short career, so to miss six months of his career with the injury must have left him pulling his hair out - even though it seems to have grown quite a bit, as has his beard as well!

"I'm really pleased for Andy and that we've got him back. He's obviously fundamental to what Sam and Macca want to to in terms of setting their team and creating chances. it's a huge boost to everyone and I'm sure Kevin Nolan will be delighted, because he's a different player with Andy in the team as well."

While West Ham will be looking to record back-to-back Barclays Premier League wins for the first time since February 2011, Newcastle will be eager to end a run of three straight defeats. While Alan Pardew's side have not won this year, Cottee says West Ham should not take their opponents lightly.

"Alan Pardew has done a good job. He's got some decent players there and I watched them against Man City last week and, although Man City are a very good team, Newcastle gave them a good game. Had Tiote's goal been allowed to stand they'd have got back to one-all and it could have been a different match.

"I appreciate Newcastle are a different proposition away from home as they are at St James' Park, but we shouldn't under-estimate them. They are having a good season and still want to push on and get into the UEFA Europa League places, so they will come down, play their football and are good enough to beat us if we stand off them.

"I think we've got to build on what we did against Cardiff last week, really get into them and set a good tempo and put them under pressure and get our tackles in, then we'll see how well they can play."

Looking further ahead, Cottee said the Board have got it right in their public backing of Big Sam and his coaching staff as the right men to take the Club forward. 

"I've always been  very supportive of Sam and Macca. I know they've been under pressure these last few weeks, but football is a results business and that applies to any club. You have to get results and Sam doesn't need me to tell him that.

"If we'd lost at Cardiff , there would have been huge pressure on him, but in this position the one thing you want is for people to get around you and tell you that your position is safe. David Gold and David Sullivan have said and done all the right things and, just as importantly, they are backing the manager in the transfer window.

"We need to bolster the squad because we've had three centre-backs missing recently and need to avoid that situation again in the future. The same with the forward line, we need to juggle around with it and get some other options as well.

"It's important that the owners are backing Big Sam verbally and financially as well."