Behrami: It will be harder now’

WEST HAM midfielder Valon Behrami admits Premier League survival will be a lot harder following Saturday s dismal home defeat by Bolton Wanderers, writes DAVE EVANS. The 24-year-old Swiss international, who has been linked with a move back to Serie A in t

WEST HAM midfielder Valon Behrami admits Premier League survival will be a lot harder following Saturday's dismal home defeat by Bolton Wanderers, writes DAVE EVANS.

The 24-year-old Swiss international, who has been linked with a move back to Serie A in the summer, summed up the feeling in the Hammers camp after this setback.

"It was a big disappointment for us because we didn't rate this performance," said Behrami. "We didn't prepare to play like this, it was one of the worst games for us this season and we lost a big chance - now it will be harder for us."

It was the first 20 minutes where the Hammers lost this Premier League clash and Behrami could not understand what had gone wrong.


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"The mentality when we started was poor and was different to what we have done when we have done well," he said.

"When you concede in the Premier League early from a single mistake it is difficult, now we know it will be hard this season - it was already hard, but it is harder now."

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Behrami is closing in on 50 appearances in claret and blue and he returned to the Swiss national side for their friendly clash with Uruguay last Wednesday as they prepare for this summer's World Cup in South Africa.

However, his performance, like many others in the West Ham ranks on Saturday, was well below par, and he put the team's failing down to their frame of mind going into the match.

"Mentally it is hard," he said. "Physically you have to run as much as the next team, but it is the mentality you can change.

"When you make technical mistakes, you can work on it and it is no longer a problem, it is easy to get right. But the problem is bigger when it is mental and not a physical or technical issue.

"We need to change something because now the situation is not good for us."

Stories over the weekend suggested that Behrami has been refused a new five-year deal at the club, despite the approval of manager Gianfranco Zola, though previous rumours had hinted that the player was homesick and keen to return to Italy where his wife is a television presenter and model.

Whatever the real story is, the conjecture certainly seemed to affect the former Lazio man's form on Saturday, though his influence in midfield is often affected when Scott Parker is playing in the same team.

Can West Ham do without the �5million signing next season as co-owner David Sullivan seems to suggest? Well on this performance and considering the expected price for the midfielder is nearing �15million, it might be wise to cash in on him.

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