West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce wants to lead the club to their best-ever finish to a Premier League season after returning to winning ways against Sunderland on Saturday.
The Hammers ended an eight-game winless streak by narrowly beating Sunderland 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground, courtesy of an 87th-minute winner from top scorer Diafra Sakho.
Three points saw Allardyce’s side climb above Stoke City into ninth in the Premier League table on 42 points with eight games left to play.
Despite the move up the standings, it is still a disappointing position for the east London club, who briefly flirted with the idea of European qualification earlier in the season while sitting in the top four after 11 games – their best start to a season in history.
But after getting back to winning ways over the weekend, Allardyce is now targeting a strong finish in an attempt to surpass the Hammers’ record Premier League points tally of 57, set in 1998-99.
“This squad needs to grow, to get bigger and better, but we need to finish this season off much better than 46 points,” said Allardyce, whose current contract expires in the summer.
“Certainly by Christmas we had reset our goals to make sure we were going to get more points in the Premier League than we had ever done.”
West Ham need 15 points from their last eight games to match their previous record and are priced at 2.97 to pick up a win in their next league outing at Leicester on April 4.