Manager on Monday


West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce praised the impact of goalscorer Aaron Cresswell after West Ham United beat Newcastle United 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

In a tight affair, Cresswell's well-taken finish was the difference between the two teams as the Hammers' 1-0 win took them to fifth in the Barclays Premier League table. The 24-year-old's first goal for West Ham since joining the Club from Ipswich Town in the summer capped a fine individual display at both ends of the pitch.

"I want to give a huge amount of credit to Aaron Cresswell who was superb on Saturday," Big Sam enthused. "His finish was excellent and to be in that position in the first place shows his intent and desire to get forward. He never gives up and his energy and commitment is second to none.

"Aaron's progress through the Football League has helped him become the player he is. His game record is absolutely phenomenal as he's played about 40 odd games a season for three years. So that has helped him no end.

"I hope I haven't jinxed him but that number of games at only 24 years old is huge. He's had a great start to his career at West Ham and I'm sure he's loving it."

Big Sam continued to hail fellow full-back Carl Jenkinson who has similarly been in fine form for the Hammers.

"I think Carl has done superbly well too. The defensive stability we have now with both Carl and Aaron plus their ability going forward is a big improvement for us. They both like getting on the ball which helps to put us on the front foot."

On a good day for the Hammers, a further positive was Mark Noble becoming West Ham's record Premier League appearance holder, overtaking legendary defender Steve Potts.

"Nobes' achievement is terrific. To have played so many games already, and the fact that he's only still 27, is fantastic for him. It's rare to see people stick to one club these days."

With the games coming thick and fast, Allardyce is hoping the Hammers can continue their form against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday evening.

"To get back into fifth with 21 points at this stage of the season is huge. This is the start of a big test of games for us with West Brom.

"We're above expectations at the moment, some people raised them when we beat Liverpool and Man City but we've always remained realistic as a unit. We challenged the players to maintain this run for as long as possible. If we do maintain this into December, January then we'll re-evaluate. December has been a difficult time for us historically.

"I'd say this squad is the second best squad I've worked with after the one I had in the last few years at Bolton. I had the likes of Youri Djorkaeff, Nicolas Anelka and Gary Speed amongst other world class players. But this squad has the potential to be better.

"We're only at the beginning with this squad, they're young and there's a lot of ambition and potential. I think the older players have got better because the new signings are driving up standards within the squad."