Progress encourages Allardyce

Allardyce is out of contract at the end of the season with talks on a new deal yet to begin, leading to speculation he may be replaced over the summer.

The man himself remains keen to focus on the remaining games of the season and is in positive mood ahead of the trip to Villa Park, although he highlighted his side???s inability to convert chances into goals.

“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,??? he said.

???They have made a massive difference to us. On Saturday we have to continue our progress of making sure we keep a clean sheet.

“Last week (in the 1-0 home win over Burnley) the fact we had 22 shots after half-time showed how much we dominated the game, but it also showed our weakness at the moment in not taking our chances.

“We’ve missed Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho in recent weeks, but we’ve coped magnificently in missing James Tomkins and Winston Reid.

“James Collins and Reece Burke have done fantastically, but we have missed our two leading goalscorers.

“James Tomkins is very close to joining back in with the squad and Winston Reid just misses out for this one.???

Allardyce remains convinced the Hammers are progressing over time, although he is keen to ensure they are more consistent over the course of the campaign.

“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,??? he added.

???We’ll look at the season as a whole, we’ve already got one more point than we’ve achieved [in previous seasons], we’ve already scored more goals so there are some big positives there.

???Year three of our progress is very, very good indeed.”