Parker: We must start to win ugly’
HAMMER OF THE YEAR Scott Parker has called on the team to roll up their sleeves and win ugly as they battle for Premier League survival, writes DAVE EVANS. The 29-year-old midfielder was one of the stars of the show as West Ham overcame Birmingham City
HAMMER OF THE YEAR Scott Parker has called on the team to roll up their sleeves and 'win ugly' as they battle for Premier League survival, writes DAVE EVANS.
The 29-year-old midfielder was one of the stars of the show as West Ham overcame Birmingham City at Upton Park last week, and he is looking for the same again against Hull City on Saturday.
"What you get with us is a good passing side and what we've got to do now is the dirty stuff," said Parker.
"We've got to get out there and do the ugly stuff to give us a platform to build on and hopefully we can start doing that."
West Ham will go into Saturday's game without new striker Benni McCarthy, who is still struggling with a knee injury that is set to keep him out of next Tuesday's clash at Manchester United as well.
But they are likely to welcome back Mexican forward Guillermo Franco, who has been missing through injury since the trip to Tottenham on December 28.
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Three-goal Franco, who formed a useful partnership with Carlton Cole earlier in the season, is set for a place on the bench alongside Brazilian Ilan, as Cole will be partnered with Egyptian Mido on Saturday.
With some tough games to come away from Upton Park this season, Parker knows just how important it is to collect points on their own ground in the closing stages.
"We've got Hull City coming up on Saturday here and I think all our home games now are winnable matches," he insisted.
"We're realistic and know what we need to do, but hopefully we can build on the win over Birmingham. Back-to-back wins in the Premier League are crucial."
Some pundits have claimed that West Ham have not had the rub of the green this season, and Parker is certainly one of them, but the dimuntive midfield man thinks that such talk should now be banished.
"There's definitely been times this year when we've been a bit unlucky, but how many times can you keep saying that?" said Parker, who cost �7million when West Ham brought him from Newcastle in the summer of 2007.
"We've had some injuries, but that's really making excuses. We need to win games.
"We've got players and a squad that should be pushing up the league. It's like anything, you pick up a result and pick up another one and all of a sudden things happen for you.
"Until the Birmingham game we've not picked up the results we should have and that's killed us a bit."
Full back Herita Ilunga is also likely to miss Saturday's game after sustaining a back injury that forced him off at half time against Birmingham. Jonathan Spector is set to step in once again, something he has done to increasing effect on 13 occasions this season.
With a tough trip to Old Trafford on Tuesday night and West Ham sitting just one point above the drop zone, three points on Saturday looks imperative, something that skipper Matty Upson is all too aware of.
"We'll go into the game with the same attitude to get a win," said Upson.
"That's what we need to do, everyone's aware of the situation, so let's crack on.