West Ham captain so relieved not to suffer from deja vu
18:37 04 March 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Hammers stand-in skipper Winston Reid had a flashback of Gareth Bale’s winner last week as Charlie Adam hit last-minute thunderbolt
As Saturday’s game went into the final few moments, West Ham captain Winston Reid was having a horrible case of déjà vu.
After watching in horror as Gareth Bale’s thunderbolt delivered the coup de grace for Tottenham at Upton Park last Monday, it looked like the same may well happen when Charlie Adam controlled the ball and went for a long-range blockbuster.
Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was beaten, but fortunately Adam’s shot clattered the bar and flew to safety as West Ham held on for the victory.
“If they had put that one in at the end, I would have been totally gutted, because that would have been the second time in a week after Bale’s shot,” said the 24-year-old New Zealand international defender.
“Luckily enough we had a bit of fortune on our side and you need that in these games.”
Reid certainly showed his steel and resolve in difficult circumstances on Saturday and received a smack in the face from Kenwyne Jones for his trouble along the way.
“I think it is a challenge coming to a place like this,” he said. “It is not easy, but I think you just have to be up for it and try and deliver your best.
“By the end they had four big boys up there so we had enough to deal with, but we have got the clean sheet and we have got the win which was important.”
It was their first away win since the 1-0 win at Newcastle on November 11, but the confident Reid was never concerned about that long gap.
“We have always believed in ourselves,” insisted the centre back. “It is hard to say why it happened, but we just kept working at it and we believed that we would get our win sooner or later.
“We did it against Stoke and the guys were really happy in the dressing room after a win like that.”
Victory moves them to 33 points and halts an alarming slide which saw them earn only four points from a possible 21 before Saturday.
“We still have games to play, but it was important for us as a team to get that confidence back,” said Reid. “We have been through a sticky patch lately after the really good start we made to the season, but I thought we deserved to win this game.”
With Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble out through injury, it was Reid who stepped up to take the captain’s armband at the Britannia Stadium and he sees himself very much as a skipper who leads by example.
“It was a great privilege for me,” he said. “We have Kevin who is a great captain and ‘Nobes’ after him, but if I can do a job for the team, that is fine by me.
“I just go about my business and don’t try to change the way I handle myself on the pitch.
“I try to give 100 per cent really and try to help out my team-mates, be a good role model; and at the end against Stoke City, I was just encouraging everyone to try their hardest.”
It certainly worked. Not only is Reid a rock in the West Ham defence, he is also becoming a leader at the same time.