Big Sam outlines future plans

Sam Allardyce has outlined his plan to lead West Ham United onwards and upwards.

The manager is in positive mood following his post-season review meeting with the Board, where a number of plans were put into place with the aim of playing a more expansive, entertaining brand of football in the future.

At the same time, the target of a top-ten finish has also been set as the Hammers prepare for their move to the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium in 2016.

Big Sam and the Board will appoint a new attacking coach and director of recruitment, while funds will be released for the signing of players to improve the squad ahead of the Club's third season back in the Barclays Premier League.

"First of all, I want to say I am happy and proud to continue for another season as West Ham manager," said Big Sam, who led the Hammers to promotion in his first season in charge, followed by two mid-table finishes in the top flight.

"I have had good, fruitful meetings with my employers and we are all in agreement that we want to move this great Club forward in a united way.

"To that end we - the Board, the staff, the players - are unified in wanting to create an exciting team for next season, one that is going to be better than last season.

"We want to try and achieve at least what we did in the first year back in the Barclays Premier League, which was a top-ten finish."

With a challenging season that saw West Ham overcome injuries, suspensions and agonising defeats to finish in 13th place now over, the manager is now fully focused on bringing new talent to the Club.

"We're already doing everything we can to improve and increase the playing squad and we're hoping to make signings as quickly as we can," he confirmed.

Reflecting on his post-season review meeting with the Board, Big Sam said there had been agreement on the majority of matters relating to how to develop the squad and improve both the playing style and results.

"I sat down with the owners and Karren Brady to discuss many things and the outcome of that meeting is that we are all moving forward in a very positive manner," he continued.

"Things have been resolved satisfactorily on both sides - and we now look forward to a productive summer and hopefully a very successful season."

Of the specific goals to emerge from the meeting, the manager welcomed the additions of an attacking coach and director of recruitment to his staff.

"I'm enthusiastic about that idea. We all agreed that whoever comes in has to be qualified and of the right type to supplement our already highly qualified backroom staff, in whom I have complete confidence.

"The appointment is absolutely down to me and the challenge is to find the right person to help us score more goals next season, because that is what we need to do.

"Regarding the plan to appoint a director of recruitment, I would say there is always the need to expand that section of an ambitious football club.

"We need to compete in that area globally and being in charge of recruitment is a very specialised position these days."

Finally, the manager shares the Board and supporters' view that the team should play entertaining, attacking football whenever possible next season.

"There is no-one more disappointed than me when we don't play well," he admitted. "Style of play is crucial, but it is also important that players realise their capabilities and play to them on a consistent basis.

"What we are striving for is the players playing well, as they did in the final home game of the season against Tottenham - a club who had spent many more millions of pounds than us - but not for one game, but consistently.

"We will all be striving hard to achieve that consistency when we resume training and if we can regularly find that standard, then I am sure the supporters will be as happy as I will.

"There were too many performances last season that didn't measure up to the expectations we all have. There were times when there were valid reasons why we fell short and other occasions, particularly towards the end of the season, when the performance was decent but we didn't win the game."

"Entertainment value, contrary to what some people say and think, is high on my list and always has been because this is an entertainment business.

"It is also a results business, though, and we need to win matches. If we can win games the right way next season then that has to be our ultimate aim and number one priority, particularly at home.

"We were magnificent at the Boleyn Ground in our first season back in the top flight - only losing to four teams. It was more difficult last season, but we have to try and get back to that previous level.

"I am not going to make any predictions at this early stage - certainly not before looking to see what everyone else does during the transfer window - but by the time we begin the new campaign we should have a clearer picture of how far we feel we can go. We are all aiming for a top-ten finish.

"The past is the past, you can't change anything - the crucial thing is to learn from it."

*Sam Allardyce was speaking in his column for the Evening Standard. Click here to read it in full.