Allardyce challenges West Ham to sustain form

Sam Allardyce wants West Ham to sustain their strong form into 2015 after returning to the top five with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United.

Aaron Cresswell's first goal for the club earned victory at Upton Park on Saturday against a team that had previously won their last six in all competitions.

The result saw West Ham leapfrog Newcastle into fifth in the Premier League ahead of a hectic list of December fixtures, which begins with a trip to West Brom on Tuesday.

And Allardyce is keen for his team to come through a challenging month and maintain momentum going into the new year.

"It's a massive victory for us," he said. "I always thought it was going to be a really tight match and that ended up being the case.

"I was saying to the players, 'Do not concede the first goal because the way Newcastle are playing at this moment in time you will find it hugely difficult to get back into the game'.

"We got better in the second half, I just have to give Aaron Cresswell a huge amount of praise for the quality of his finish. He showed our more creative and attacking players how to put the ball in the net, which was really pleasing.

"To go back into fifth, to get the victory to get to 21 points is a huge, huge push for us going into a very quick game by playing West Brom on Tuesday and Swansea next week. 

"We've started off with three points in what could be a massive week for us all.

"At the moment we're above expectations but I think we realised those levels a few weeks ago when we beat Liverpool and Man City here. My challenge to the players was, 'Can you sustain that level?'

"Today's victory gives us an opportunity going into December to see if we can sustain it.

"If we can sustain it through December going into January we can reschedule where we should or might finish if we can continue."