Big Sam targets top-eight finish

Sam Allardyce says West Ham United can secure a strong finish to the 2014/15 season
Sam Allardyce says West Ham United are targeting a top-eight finish this Barclays Premier League season.

Speaking to journalists during the Hammers’ warm-weather training camp in Dubai, the manager says his players and staff will return from the Middle East with renewed energy and belief.

Having slipped down the table in recent weeks, when performances have not been rewarded with fitting results, Big Sam says now is the time for West Ham to get back to winning ways.

With ten games remaining and his side sitting tenth in the standings, the manager told reporters that a top-eight finish is achievable.

“Eighth for us is achievable, we should already be there,” he said. “We should have already secured a lot more points, but we haven’t and that shows you the frailties of the squad. Even though our performances have been excellent, our victories have turned into draws and because of that we have slipped down the league a little bit.

“So I know the frailties, I’ve seen them and know what we need to do so those frailties don’t appear next season. For now though it’s about these last ten games, securing as many points as possible and trying to hit the target of eighth in the league.”

The first of those remaining ten games come at Arsenal on Saturday, where West Ham will take on a team which beat them 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground in late December.

After a few days of recovery and recharging of the batteries at Dubai Sports City, the manager hopes his players can bounce back from that setback and a narrow 1-0 home defeat by Chelsea in north London.

Following the Gunners clash, the Hammers host struggling Sunderland and travel to bottom club Leicester City, and the boss knows there are points to be won if his players reach their potential in those matches.

“If we play to our best, as we did against Chelsea and Tottenham, the next three games are all winnable,” said Big Sam. “Unfortunately, against Chelsea we didn’t get what we wanted because we didn’t finish our chances and they scored an offside goal. But against Tottenham, we were only five seconds away from three points.

“So we can win and winning is the most important thing for us now. Performances have not been the problem, but you have to turn performances into victories.”

Tickets for the Kids for a Quid visit of Sunderland on Saturday 21 March at 5.30pm are still available by clicking here.