Thursday 18 September 2014 17:19, UK
Manager Sam Allardyce has urged West Ham to get their season up and running with a win over one of the Premier League’s big guns.
The Hammers are yet to pick up a win since defeating Crystal Palace last month in their second league match of the season.
Diafra Sakho’s leveller earned the east Londoner’s a 2-2 draw at Hull on Monday, but they next face two tough fixtures, with Liverpool heading to Upton Park before a trip to Manchester United.
Owners David Gold and David Sullivan have set Allardyce a target of a top-10 finish and the Hammers boss has urged his players to prove they can compete with the major sides.
“We were pleased with the performance, but not the ultimate result (the 2-2 draw with Hull),” he said. “The three points would have been very valuable to us with the fixtures we have coming up.
“It’s going to be tough, with Liverpool next and then we move on to Manchester United after that.
“We’ve produced one poor performance this season out of four, which was at home to Southampton.
“The big question mark for us now is whether we can get anything against Liverpool to stop that run of poor results. That is clearly what we have to do against one of the big boys.”
West Ham suffered home defeats against Tottenham and Southampton during their stuttering start to the campaign, but Liverpool received a setback of their own in last weekend's 1-0 loss against Aston Villa at Anfield.
Allardyce admitted that any team can be caught off guard if they let their standards slip and urged his players to capitalise if Liverpool are feeling the effects of Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Ludogorets.
He said: “I didn’t think we had any problems against Tottenham. Southampton was about us not achieving the levels we need to.
“Southampton were exceptionally good on the day.
“Sometimes you may catch the opposition on a bad day and take advantage of it, ie Aston Villa winning at Liverpool.
“Liverpool, I think, had the Champions League game on their mind. Maybe that caused a little bit of complacency and Aston Villa took full advantage of it.”
See how West Ham fair against Liverpool in Saturday Night Football. Coverage gets underway at 4:45pm on Sky Sports 1 HD.