Allardyce: Reid 'key' to early season form

Sam Allardyce has singled out central defender Winston Reid for praise, citing the New Zealand international as a key reason for West Ham United's impressive return to top-flight football.

Reid, who signed for the Upton Park outfit at the beginning of the 2010/11 season that ultimately saw them suffer relegation, has been ever-present so far this term.

His impressive defensive displays have helped the Hammers to 11 points in their opening seven games – and Reid even weighed in with a goal in September's 3-0 defeat of Fulham.

Now, manager Allardyce has moved to praise his stopper, especially after Reid suffered the ignominy of relegation in his first season in England.

Allardyce said: "The improvement of Winston and the consistency of his performances have been key to some of our results, because our defensive unit as a team and as individuals has been very good, so I think Winston has been very good."

The former Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers manager also spoke about new signing Andy Carroll, explaining how the man brought in on loan from Liverpool provided the whole club with a boost upon his arrival at Upton Park.

"Andy was a big signing for us. Even though it's only a loan deal for a season, I think the size of the player – not just in stature terms, but in terms of his ability – was one where every player that was already at West Ham thought, 'wow', when he walked through the door and played the first game.

"We've really got someone [in Carroll]. We can build, and I think that, coupled with [the signings of] Matt Jarvis earlier in the week and then in the end Yossi Benayoun, made the squad a really secure squad in terms of strength and depth."

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By Chris Weatherspoon