Sam Allardyce has urged West Ham to find the killer instinct needed to boost their hopes of automatic promotion from the npower Championship.

The Hammers face Peterborough tonight unbeaten in 10 games, but having won only three of those and slipped to third place, four points behind this Saturday's opponents Reading.

And manager Allardyce knows one point has to start becoming three if his side are to avoid the play-offs and ensure their top-flight status.

"We've had seven draws and three victories out of 10 but it should be the other way round," he told the club website.

"It's costing us dear but we're still in with a shout with eight massive games to go so let's turn the draws back into victories.

"It's a big game as it's our game in hand and then after that it's Reading, so if we really want to get automatic promotion we've got to beat Peterborough. If we beat Reading (as well) we know we go back to second spot.

"It's sad we can't go there on the crest of a wave after getting the three points we deserved (against Burnley on Saturday). We should have won 4-2 or 5-2 or 6-3."

Another team currently dwelling in the play-off positions, Middlesbrough, make the lengthy trip to Ipswich, while at the other end of the table, bottom two Portsmouth and Doncaster are in action against Hull and Crystal Palace respectively.

Pompey boss Michael Appleton has warned this week's home games against the Tigers and Burnley will shape his side's hopes. "We've got very good form at home, but we've only got eight games left and we're at the stage where we need to start picking up the points," he told the club website.

Nottingham Forest, four points outside the bottom three, travel to Leicester in tonight's other game.