West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has said that his side’s home form will be key to their fortunes next season as they look to improve on last season’s 13th place, Goal.com
In their first season back in the Premier League after promotion in 2012, West Ham had one of the division’s best home records, and as a result they achieved a top half finish. Last season, however, they often struggled in front of their own supporters and won just seven of their 19 fixtures at Upton Park.
That turned out to be a crucial factor as they battled the threat of relegation for parts of last season, although injuries were often a problem. The Hammers begin the new season on August 16 at home against London rivals Tottenham, and Allardyce is determined to do better on their own turf.
He said: “I think it’s all about winning, and winning the right way. Because if you play really well and lose, that doesn’t make much difference to any fan across the board today. So it’s about playing well, but it’s about winning as well, and that’s what we didn’t do at home enough last season.
“I’m not totally convinced that all the hype on changing the way West Ham play really is the key element. The key element is it was producing what we did the year before, and try to be better and we didn’t do that.
“And I think when that didn’t happen, we built such a big expectation in year one back in the Barclays Premier League that everybody expected us to push on and be better and greater in the next season, and that wasn’t the case for various reasons.”
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