Big Sam on: Newcastle United

Sam Allardyce is determined to get back on the winning trail when West Ham United host Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

The Hammers saw their five-game unbeaten run come to an end at Everton last weekend and are now three games without a win - but the manager has his eyes on three points against his old club.

What is the injury news for the weekend?

SA: "Stewart Downing and Cheik Kouyate are both training today. The rest of the injured players have got a chance but it's a slimmer chance than we expected. I think the only other possibility might be Mark Noble who came off injured against Everton. We've also lost Winston Reid to a suspension. It's not an ideal scenario but I still think we can get the result that we should have done last Saturday.

What is your reaction to the FA's charge of not keeping your players in an orderly fashion?

SA: "I can't argue with it. We got so frustrated by some of the decisions that we lost control a little bit. I don't condone what we did but I can understand the players' frustrations. We need control ourselves better because we could have lost a player to a red card. Both sets of players were involved. To be fair to my players they very rarely do that. I'll remind them of their responsibilities but I don't think it's a particular problem for us."

Are you worried about the dip in results recently?

SA: "Obviously the results haven't quite been what we would have wanted in the last three game. But I think our performances have been good enough. I think this is the best form we've been in since I joined the club. Only two performances have been below what we expect, the Southampton game at home and the Stoke City away."

Andy Carroll played his first full game of the season last week, you must be happy to see him back?

SA: "We're happy to see every player who comes back from injury. It's a big boost to have a player like Andy back after such a long time. It's important at this time of the season to get players back because if you're out for a week you could miss three games. Injuries derailed our season last year and we don't want that to happen again.

"We have a very tough game this weekend against Newcastle. With the form and momentum they have I think they're the hardest to team to face right now, aside from Chelsea."

It's been a frustrating time for Andy, how do you feel he did?

SA: "He did well considering he wasn't expected to play the 90 minutes. He's in the process of completing a pre-season before we see the best of him. It'll take a way until he's back to full fitness and when he is that's when we'll see the best of him."

Your next fixtures are Newcastle, West Brom, Swansea, Sunderland and Leicester which are all winnable games. How important is this part of the season?

SA: "It's a hugely important time for us. Historically we've struggled at this point. The last international break was in many ways the worst I've suffered because three players came back injured. Dealing with the amount of games in such a short period of time is a massive test for us all, it'll define how our season goes I think. We haven't achieved the results that our performances have merited which is really disappointing."

How confident are you that the team can maintain this position throughout the season?

SA: "We have to turn this slight blip around quickly. Winning games gives you the confidence you need and we haven't had that recently. We know if we're going to have to convert our performances into wins. The main thing we need to is to find out clinical finishing again. That was what was so good in the early part of the season."

Both you and Alan Pardew know how important it is to have patient owners. How helpful have they been recently?

SA: "Owners have been good in general across the Premier League this season, no one's been sacked yet which is good to see. Managers refer to November as Black November when the sackings start and they sometimes trigger each other off. Both me and Alan are fortunate that the owners have been understanding that these things take time. I can't speak too much for Alan but I communicate with the owners on a regular basis and we talk things through whatever the situation may be. Some things are within your control, some things aren't.

"Alan brought in a number of players, like we did. He went to New Zealand and picked up a lot of injuries, just like we did. But he's turned the corner and now they've won six games in a row."

How do you counter their threat?

SA: "We need to play to our best, just like we did against Manchester City and Liverpool. We need to rediscover our clinical finishing and then we'll take it from there."

What lessons have you taken from the Everton game?

SA: "Make sure we're more clinical in front of goal. We also need to be careful that when we're in the ascendency not to leave the back door open. It was that lapse of concentration that cost us which led to them scoring the second goal which they didn't deserve at the time."