Allardyce: Home form will be key for West Ham next season

The Hammers boss says the team did not pick up enough points at Upton Park last season and has urged his side to improve in front of their own fans ahead of the new campaign
Sam Allardyce says home form will be key for West Ham next season as they step up their prepations for the new Premier League season.

The Hammers are preparing for friendlies with A-League sides Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday, and Sydney FC on Saturday.

The Londoners finished 13th in the top flight in 2013-14, having secured a top-10 placing on their promotion season 12 months earlier and Allardyce says their fall was due to a lack of points picked up at Upton Park.

5/2 West Ham are 5/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League next season with William Hill

"I think it's all about winning, and winning the right way," Allardyce told reporters. "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."

Captain Kevin Nolan attributed their failure to climb the table down to injuries, claiming his personal output - seven goals in 33 games - was affected by forced rotations.

"I think that was a major thing for us last year, it was a lot of injuries," Nolan said. 

"It was very difficult from me, from my personal point of view, to build up a relationship with a striker because we had a lot of chopping and changing to do because of the injury state [of affairs], what we had to put up with last year. 

"So I'm really confident this year if we can stay away from them injuries, if we can keep Andy [Carroll] fit, as well as the signings… what I've seen of [Mauro] Zarate, he's a fantastic player, and someone I can certainly feed off to get goals, and someone who's going to score goals."