Round-Up: West Ham inspired by Saints' surprising defeat

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The Independent Online

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce suggested his side only sprang to life to claim a 3-1 win over Derby in the Championship on Saturday because his players earlier saw rivals Southampton consigned to defeat.

"We weren't very good. The players saw the Southampton result and that, plus the 4-4-2 formation I picked, affected them," said Allardyce of his side who closed the gap at the top to just two points with the win after leaders Saints had lost 2-0 to Bristol City.

"It was very important that we scored just before half-time, it knocked Derby back," added Allardyce, whose team scored through Carlton Cole after Tamas Priskin had found the net for Derby, with Hammers' captain Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble scoring in the second half.

Allardyce added: "The performance was only good enough for 45 minutes. That needs to be better at home and it's something we want for 90 minutes, starting Tuesday at Middlesbrough."

Charlton, meanwhile, host Huddersfield in League One this evening. Chris Powell's team sit five points ahead of their rivals at the top of the table but said his players must be wary of the strength Huddersfield possess.

"We must make sure we're right in both an attacking and defensive sense because we're coming up against one of the strongest teams in the league," said Powell.

"They've got unity and that's been bolstered by [manager] Lee Clark's commitment. He's popular and that kind of thing galvanises the whole club."