West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce has called or the Premier League to adopt a winter break.

The Irons manager took his squad to Dubai for a week-long warm-weather training camp and he believes that will improve performances for the remainder of the season.

He considers it is crucial to have breaks in order to protect players from sustaining injury and keep them fresher for the remainder of the campaign.  

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "I've said for many years that the whole of our country needs to close down at some stage in mid-season.

"The stats prove that. They do it in the rest of Europe but we, for some reason, find it impossible to do.

"It [not having a break] puts the players at greater risk, especially with the extra fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period.

"As a manager, we have to find the time and the opportunity to take the players away.

"Everything when you come back suggests that it is the right thing to do - you see an increase in fitness."

West Ham have been going well of late and are unbeaten in their last four matches, including three wins and a goalless draw at Chelsea.

They haven’t conceded a goal  in the league since a 3-1 home defeat against Newcastle, on January 18.

It is a run has seen the Hammers go from bottom of the league to 11th place.

Allardyce believes this is down to the return to fitness of many key players and the added loan signings of Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello.

"It's [helped] getting the players fit again," he added. "We had that many devastated by injury that it became very difficult for us to compete at this level.

"We always felt that if we got those players fit again it would increase our level of performance, and of course bringing in new players in the window as well lifts everyone."