Sam Allardyce wants more from West Ham ahead of visit of Manchester City


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The Independent Football

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce hopes his players have learned from their defeat at Wigan last weekend as they prepare to face Premier League champions Manchester City at Upton Park on Saturday.

The Hammers went into last weekend's clash in good form, having won four of their opening eight Barclays Premier League matches, but were beaten 2-1 by Roberto Martinez's side.

Despite the setback West Ham find themselves 10th in the table, but Allardyce does not want his players to start taking their position for granted.

"It gives the players a warning sign that anything less than 100 per cent when you're newly-promoted means it will reflect on you in terms of the result and it did," he said.

"I can only hope it is a one-off in the type of performance that we gave and even after all that we nearly sneaked a draw at the end with a few chances we did create."

And Allardyce has demanded that his players give their all against Roberto Mancini's side, warning that anything else will lead to defeat.

"I'm looking to get back to what we do best and of course having to do that against Manchester City," he said.

"It will be a necessity to play to our very, very best - the whole 11, never mind one or two being off their game - if we are to achieve a result against the champions of the Premier League."

Allardyce has seen his side lose at Swansea and at home to Arsenal, but it is the fixtures against teams towards the bottom of the table that take on the most significance for the former Blackburn manager.

"Our season is determined on what we do against the bottom eight not the top five or six," he said.

"The top five or six is an ultimate bonus if you get a result against them, it is what we do against the bottom eight teams, even if we are one of the bottom eight.

"When we play against them we have got to make sure we don't lose against them, at least win one and draw one, and if we do that we know we will be safe at the end of the season."

Allardyce is not expecting his side to replicate the success they have had so far over the next 10 matches, with the Hammers set to face the league's current top five sides in that period.

He said: "We knew that (about the fixtures) at the start of the season and that is why we were looking to get the points on the board that we did.

"Certainly Southampton and Reading will be looking at us and be a little jealous but there is this group of fixtures and it will be very difficult indeed.

"We accept that we probably won't get as many points as we have collected in the first part of the season, but we have got to try and get as many points as we possibly can and then move on to late December and January."

Hammers' full-back George McCartney agreed with Allardyce's take on the upcoming fixtures, but is hoping to still be inside the top 10 when they emerge from the other side of them.

"Over the next few games we are playing teams that finished in Champions League spots last season so, yes, it is a difficult run, but aren't all games difficult, as it was at Wigan last Saturday?" he told the club's official website. "Our aim, whatever the run or whoever we play, is still to pick up as many points as we can to try and stay in the top half of the table."