Big Sam anticipates brighter future

Sam Allardyce will waste no time as he starts work on strengthening his West Ham United squad for the 2014/15 season.

The West Ham United manager oversaw a record-breaking third straight victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday - a result which guarantees Premier League football for the Hammers for a third consecutive season. With contract talks and player negotiations put on hold until the table showed mathematical safety, Big Sam will now have the freedom to act on weeks of behind-the-scenes planning.

"I don't want to go through next season with the same phases and challenges as we had this season," Big Sam explained. "We need a bigger and better squad; there is no doubt about that. As much good as the players have done since I have been here - and I'm not criticising any of them whatsoever as they've given all that they've got - our job is always to improve the squad as you can't stand still in this league.

"We've got to go out and find better players and hopefully that gives us more stability and better results sequence so we can move forward slowly but surely."

Big Sam have overseen something of a revolution of the West Ham United defence this season, with Saturday's 2-0 win providing West Ham's 14th clean sheet of the league season. Therefore, it is attacking and flair players that will fill out the top slots on the manager's summer shopping list for the summer.

"Talented players are always important at this level of football. Players that can handle the ball and more importantly deliver in the final third are vital. Our 14 clean sheets this season is the best I've ever had and that was a massive goal that we've achieved.

"If we can carry that through to next season and add a bit more flair and finishing power then we should be looking to finish in the top ten or better. We've got to entertain the fans and play the right kind of football.

"We should have converted a lot more than we did on Saturday but I'm not complaining about a 2-0 win! We were hitting the target, though, and we were making their goalkeeper make very, very good saves."

Reflecting further on the victory against Spurs, the manager is all too aware that a hat-trick of victories in a single season against the neighbours from north London has never been achieved before. He now wants his side to ensure they carry on the intensity and fight they displayed when they travel to Manchester City for the season's conclusion next Sunday.

"Everyone has told me how important Saturday's result was. It was hugely important to us and the fans. To make it three wins on the trot and play as well as we did against our great rivals sent everyone home happy.

"We can now look forward to a really good performance at Manchester City, but at the same time knowing that when we get back next season we will be in the Barclays Premier League and we'll try to do better than we did this."