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Allardyce hails West Ham progression

Sam Allardyce has praised West Ham's squad for overachieving against the targets he set at the start of the Premier League campaign.

Despite a frustrating second half of the season, West Ham have already exceeded their points totals from 2012-13 and 2013-14 while being on course for a top-half finish.

Allardyce has come in for criticism from sections of the club's support and his own future remains unclear, but the former Bolton Wanderers boss has targeted three points at Aston Villa on Saturday.

"If you look at the progress we're making, in the three seasons we've had in the Premier League we've struggled in a couple of months of those," Allardyce said. 

"We'll look at the season as a whole, we've already got one more point than we've achieved so far, we've already scored more goals so there are some big positives there. 

"Year three of our progress is very, very good indeed.

"At the start of the season we knew all the new players would have to contribute hugely if were to reach our target of 50 points, the new players have made a massive difference to us. 

"On Saturday we have to continue our progress of making sure we keep a clean sheet."

Allardyce hopes to have James Tomkins available at Villa Park after a dislocated shoulder, but Winston Reid continues to be sidelined.