Sam Allardyce wants West Ham to find killer instinct

 

Sam Allardyce has urged West Ham to find the killer instinct needed to boost their hopes of automatic promotion from the npower Championship.

The Hammers face Peterborough tonight unbeaten in 10 games, but having won only three of those and slipped to third place, four points behind this Saturday's opponents Reading.

And manager Allardyce knows one point has to start becoming three if his side are to avoid the play-offs and ensure their top-flight status.

"We've had seven draws and three victories out of 10 but it should be the other way round," he told the club website.

"It's costing us dear but we're still in with a shout with eight massive games to go so let's turn the draws back into victories.

"It's a big game as it's our game in hand and then after that it's Reading, so if we really want to get automatic promotion we've got to beat Peterborough. If we beat Reading (as well) we know we go back to second spot.

"It's sad we can't go there on the crest of a wave after getting the three points we deserved (against Burnley on Saturday). We should have won 4-2 or 5-2 or 6-3."

Another team currently dwelling in the play-off positions, Middlesbrough, make the lengthy trip to Ipswich with midfielder Malaury Martin hoping for an overdue first league start for the club.

The Frenchman earned his side a point against Bristol City on Saturday when, for the third time this season, he scored after stepping off the bench.

But he is keen to avoid the "super-sub" tag and told the Northern Echo: "It's disappointing that I have not been able to get more time on the pitch this season, but I hope that my performance in the second half has given me a better chance of staying in the team."

The draw with the Robins left Boro winless in four, but they remain fifth and Martin added: "There are not many teams who are winning a lot of matches in a row. It is a very close league and we are still in the play-off positions."

At the other end of the table, bottom two Portsmouth and Doncaster are in action against Hull and Crystal Palace respectively, with Pompey boss Michael Appleton warning this week's home games against the Tigers and Burnley will shape his side's hopes.

"We've got very good form at home, but we've only got eight games left and we're at the stage where we need to start picking up the points," he told the club website.

Nottingham Forest, four points outside the bottom three, travel to Leicester in tonight's other game.

PA

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