Allardyce targets fast start
Hammers boss sees November and December as hardest months
Last Updated: June 23, 2012 4:12pm
Sam Allardyce: Looking forward to West Ham's return to the Premier League
Sam Allardyce has challenged his West Ham side to get into a good position in the first nine games of the season because he expects November and December to be a particularly tough period.
The Hammers lost their opening four matches two years ago and never recovered as they suffered relegation to the Championship.
Having bounced back up at the first attempt, Allardyce knows his men cannot afford a similar start and he is looking to pick up three points at home to Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the season.
The manager is then targeting a strong run before the end of October, as they face Manchester City in their 19th game and have a number of other tough fixtures in the run-up to Christmas.
"The first nine games up to Manchester City are ones we must try to achieve as many points as we can. It will be hugely difficult but not as difficult as what follows," he told the club's official website.
"We get through October and then November and December are the toughest months of the season, not only because of the fixtures but the number of games we have to play.
"We've got to get off to get off to a flying start and achieve as many points as we can in the first nine or 10 games. The fixtures are difficult though; nothing is going to be easy at all."
Allardyce is excited about being back in the Premier League and looking forward to testing his team against the finest in the country.
He said: "I'd had the experience of the Championship but it's not like the Premier League and the pressures that it brings are huge. The expectation is fantastic and everyone concerned has a much higher status in this industry.
"If you're a part of it you should feel pride and you should be ready to work that little bit harder for the end goal and the end goal is to finish as high up in the Premier League as we possibly can."
West Ham's players will return for pre-season training next weekend and Allardyce is ready for the hard work to begin.
He said: "Now we've relaxed and enjoyed ourselves it's time to start focusing on the most important league in the world and build and sustain a team that is capable of staying in that division."