Big Sam named Manager of the Month

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has been named as the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for February.

The Hammers enjoyed a perfect February, winning four games from four and rising eight places in the league table to move away from the bottom three and into the top half.

Big Sam's team were in fine form at both ends of the pitch, hitting the back of the net nine times in the month, while Adrian's goal was breached only once - and even that came in vain for Southampton as the Hammers came roaring back to win 3-1.

The 59-year-old becomes the first West Ham boss to land the prize since Alan Pardew in February 2006 and he was delighted to collect the trophy at the Club's Chadwell Heath training base.

He said: "It's a fantastic time to win this award and of course the players and the staff take as much credit as I do, because that month of February was so needed by everybody who supports West Ham and who works at West Ham because of the predicament we found ourselves in.

"I always said that when we overcame our injuries we would put things right and we couldn't have done any better than winning every game in February.

"To win this fantastic award from Barclays, I appreciate it myself and on behalf of everybody else at West Ham."

Before February began, a glance at the fixture list and the clearing treatment room suggested that West Ham's results would improve with three home matches and a trip to mid-table Aston Villa.

But was even Big Sam surprised to see his team produce a run of four straight victories?

"I think we were, because statistically we had not won back-to-back Barclays Premier League games in our time back, then we managed to do it and carry it on into four wins on the trot and five wins out of six.

"The only blip in the middle was losing to to Newcastle at home. February was a fantastic month but unfortunately we lost by the odd goal at Everton at the start of March. Even though we lost that game, we want to make this month a good one as well."

Sam Allardyce

Big Sam was presented with his award at Chadwell Heath

West Ham's perfect February began with a 2-0 victory over Swansea City. Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll rekindled their fruitful partnership to devastating effect, as the Hammers No9 laid on both goals for his skipper.

West Ham's joy was tempered slightly by Carroll's harsh red card, but they were to overcome his loss with three more winning performances in the month.

Next up were Aston Villa, and another Nolan brace - with both goals coming within three minutes of the start of the second period - was enough to give the Hammers their first back-to-back Premier League wins since their return to the top flight in 2012.

2-0 was becoming a familiar scoreline for Big Sam and his team, with Norwich City becoming the latest team to be defeated by that margin in the third game of February.

The Canaries proved a tough nut to crack until James Collins' 84th-minute header broke the deadlock. Mo Diame sealed the victory in stoppage time.

West Ham then completed a clean sweep of wins for February by recovering from a goal down to defeat Southampton 3-1 with Matt Jarvis, Carlton Cole and Nolan on target.

A West Ham manager has only claimed this honour three times since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, with Pardew's 2006 success following awards for Harry Redknapp in November 1998 and Glenn Roeder in March 2003.

Big Sam has enjoyed more success, however, with the latest honour meaning he has now been named Premier League Manager of the Month on five occasions - only Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes, Martin O'Neill, Harry Redknapp, Rafael Benitez and Bobby Robson have been more prolific.