Big Sam on: Liverpool

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce faced the media on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday's game against last season's Barclays Premier League runners-up Liverpool.

The Hammers will be hoping to register their first home points of the season and Big Sam said addressing their Boleyn Ground form is high on the list of priorities.

Morning Sam, what team news have you got? Do you have anyone coming back?

SA: "No it's the same squad for this weekend as the game on Monday night. We're obviously pleased with performance but not the result. It was a shame Enner's last minute chance didn't go in. It was a shame due to the other results we've had recently, three points would have been very welcome, especially as we've got some big games coming up. It would have given more confidence. But saying that we've only had one bad performance in four games. Liverpool will be a tough game, we know that, but all games are difficult at this level now.

Is there something about playing at home that makes it harder to play?

SA: "Not against Tottenham, no. Southampton was down to us not achieving our expected levels but also Southampton being exceptional on the day. There's a massive focus these days on who you're playing against and what you should be getting out of the game. But I know from my experience that the quality of the Premier League is improving year on year. Teams are hard to play wherever they are in the league, sometimes you catch a team on a bad day but that is getting rarer.

"Aston Villa caught Liverpool on a bad day. That's not taking anything away from Villa's terrific performance, they were excellent. But I think Liverpool had the Champions League on their mind after several years away from it.

That might play into your hands, West Ham should be able to cause upsets too

SA: "Yeah, our team is evolving isn't it? We brought nine players in this summer, similar to Liverpool. When you try and integrate them into the team it's difficult because we don't know everybody's strengths and weaknesses yet. We still learning how to get the best out of our players. That takes time, you create more time for yourself if the results go your way.

"We got a decent result on Monday against Hull having come back from goals down twice. We're in a good frame of mind, the players always look forward to the big games.

"I remember last year we were sadly done by a referring decision. They complained that they had to park too far away, the dressing rooms were too hot, the grass was too long, whatever. It was a shame they won on a dubious penalty because we played ever so well. Hopefully we can repeat that minus the penalties."

Are you pleased Luis Suarez has gone?

SA: "From a selfish point of view, yes. I'm glad we don't have to face him. But for the sake of the Barclays Premier League it is a shame, he's a fantastic player. Thankfully a lot of quality was brought into the league this summer. Liverpool bought well with the fee they got for Suarez. He's truly missed in terms of his talent, but we're rather glad he's not playing us this weekend."

Is Villa's performance against Liverpool the blueprint of how to beat them?

SA: "We're playing at home which makes it a bit different. We're not going to go all out to attack them. They'll set up a bit differently away from home. We have to take into consideration the talent Liverpool have as a team and as individuals.

"I think one of the most important things will be how well we look after the ball, and what we do with it when we've got it. They leave a few gaps due to the attacking style they play, so we'll have to exploit them when we can. We might not get as much possession as we usually do so we'll have to make the most of it, and take the chances we create.

"I'm not daft enough to say we're going to press Liverpool and pin them back in their own half, I don't think that is going to happen. But we're going to try when we can but make sure at the same time we're resilient at the back. If we're on top of our game we'll give them a very good match."

You've added a bit more pace with the likes of Enner Valencia, does that give you more attacking options?

SA: "It does, but you still have to work hard as a team to supply players like Enner. That was one of the most pleasing things, the amount of supply we gave to Enner for an away game was terrific. In lots of good spells we almost got the winner, but I think that is the key difference between the top and the bottom, taking the chances when you have good spells. That's where we have got to get better.

"One of my concerns is that we still haven't got a clean sheet yet after four games. We have to stop giving away sloppy goals because it will make our jobs a lot harder. So we have to be more resilient."

Do you think Liverpool will be affected by playing in the Champions League on Tuesday?

SA: "I hope so. It depends on the squad Brendan has assembled. On past history of playing teams after they've played in Europe, and having taken Bolton into Europe I know how hard it can be. He has assembled a big squad, whether he plays the same team on Saturday that played on Tuesday is something we have to try and predict. If we can seek out any advantage we will do, from our part we'll concentrate on things within in our power and that is making sure we play well to the best of our abilities.

"We obviously focus on tactical awareness of the opposition but first and foremost we must play to our strengths."

Enner Valencia got his first Premier League goal on Monday night...

SA: "And Sakho scored his first goal but unfortunately they ruled it against him which is rather sad. In my opinion his shot was on target so I thought he should have been given the goal. It would have helped his confidence.

"Enner's goal was very good. He caught the goalkeeper off guard because he didn't expect the shot."

How convincing do you think Liverpool are this year to last?

SA: "I don't think there are far off from last year. Brendan has the same problem as us, settling in a lot of new players. His players will take time to integrate, the same as ours. It can't be done overnight as everyone expects it to be. As the season goes on, we should get stronger and stronger, and I'm sure they will too."