Allardyce demands cutting edge from West Ham

The Hammers manager urges his side to become more ruthless in front of goal in order to end a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats at their Upton Park home
Sam Allardyce has challenged his West Ham team to become more clinical in front of goal in order to improve on their underwhelming home record this season.

The Hammers will aim to end a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats in front of their own fans when they welcome Aston Villa to Upton Park on Saturday, with their only win in the last eight league games coming courtesy of a shock 3-0 away win over Tottenham.

However, having conceded just eight goals in their opening nine games, Allardyce insists that getting back to winning ways is merely a matter of finding more of a cutting edge in attack.

"We have got to continue playing like we're playing," he told reporters. "Certainly at Swansea, Tottenham away and the home games we've played - we have to remind ourselves how good we've been even though, at home, we haven't got much out of the game.

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"We have to continue to be resilient out of possession. We have the best defensive record away from home in the Premier League, so get back to that and make sure we come off with a clean sheet because I believe that we will score at home.

"We've got the worst chance conversion rate of anyone in the Premier League and that's the thing we've got to change.

"If we get the injured players fit and get a bigger squad to choose from, we'll get better as time goes on."

West Ham's attacking options have been limited by the long-term injury that has kept record signing Andy Carroll on the sidelines since the beginning of the season, while Mladen Petric and Ricardo Vaz Te are also unavailable after suffering knocks recently.

Allardyce admits that he is concerned by the mounting injury list and worries that the team could struggle should their fortunes not improve in the treatment room.

"It leaves us with a problem in terms of numbers," he continued. "We're very short of first-team squad players available for Saturday but it's about getting on with the job and using the players available and trying to bring the three points at home that we are looking for.

"At the moment it is a concern for us, especially when November and December comes and suspensions kick in. My focus to the medical staff is to get them fit and keep them fit otherwise it will be a long, hard winter for us."