Hull vs West Ham: Sam Allardyce 'expects a lot better' but admits it's hard for new players to settle quickly

Hammers manager is looking to rectify West Ham's inconsistent start to the season

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Sam Allardyce has put West Ham's inconsistent start to the season down to the number of new faces in his squad.

Having sufffered a narrow, last-gasp defeat to Tottenham on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League campaign, Allardyce guided the Hammers to a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace - only to come crashing back down with a Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Sheffield United and a third successive home loss at the hands of Southampton.

Allardyce was reportedly close to losing his job at Upton Park, having managed only a 13th-placed finish last year, but having been kept in the post by co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, they backed their manager in the summer transfer market.

As many as nine new players came through the door throughout the off-season, with Morgan Amalfitano the final addition late on deadline day.


With a high number also being moved to pastures new, Allardyce feels the upheaval could take its toll in the earlier weeks of the season.

"It's difficult," he said.

"Fans expect to see the best from the new players from day one. But it's hard to integrate players, especially foreign players. To get them settled into a new culture and new routines you have to do an awful lot of work.

"You have to take a player's family into consideration and sort out their personal lives. You need to make sure a player and his family is happy and settled when they leave the training ground. The integration of a new player is something you want to do as quickly as possible.

"I think the whole euphoria surrounding the transfer window acts as a distraction. But we can't use that as too much of an excuse. I expect a lot better from the team and hopefully we'll see that on Monday."

A trip to Hull on Monday evening is the next challenge for Allardyce, who could hand debuts to both Amalfitano and Barcelona loanee Alex Song.

Alex Song will be available for Monday's encounter

But the 59-year-old will not consider rushing any new faces into his team at the detriment of their fitness, with Enner Valencia yet to start a league game having represented Ecuador at the World Cup.

"You don't want to hurry a player in too quickly," added Allardyce.

"The season is 38 games so we have to think about the long term and do what's right for both the player and the team.

"You have to take the fitness of the new player into consideration as well. It depends when in the summer you sign a player and how much of a pre-season the player has had.

"For instance, Alex has had a pre-season at Barcelona but no games. So he's hugely short of match practise. Morgan has had some games but had 10 or 12 days when he didn't train because he was sorting out his move back to England."