Substance over style for West Ham as they now hunt down a spot in Europe
- Credit: PA
It wasn’t the easiest of games to watch, particularly in that second half but at this stage of the season it’s all about getting over the line.
The pressure was on after a weekend in which pretty much every result went against us with the exception of Fulham’s win at Liverpool; we found ourselves 7th in the table our lowest position for some time and only a win against Leeds would do.
We showed a lot of resilience and character in that second half to absorb wave after wave of attacks from Bielsa’s boys and preserve that all important clean sheet.
Craig Dawson in particular didn’t put a foot wrong and took his goal incredibly well.
Converting his loan into a permanent deal should be our first order of business in the summer.
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11 games to go and we find ourselves fifth in the league and with a game in hand on the sides above us, the chase for Champions League football is on and we shouldn’t shy away from it or declare we’re not in the race.
We’ve been in the upper echelons of the league all season and must embrace this challenge of clawing our way back into the top four.
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We have not seen scenes such as this since the last season at Upton Park, however whilst that season hinged on the mercurial and world class talents of a certain Dimitri Payet this time it’s very much a team effort.
That side missed out on a seat at the top table ultimately because we were too reliant on the genius of our maverick playmaker, and for all our attacking flair that soft underbelly still remained.
That season we imploded in a 4-1 defeat to Swansea at Upton Park in our penultimate home game; which virtually killed off our hopes of securing Champions League football.
You simply couldn’t see this current Irons vintage collapsing in such a manner.
Manchester United up next and there’s nothing to fear, yes they just ended Man City’s endless winning streak, but when went up there in the FA Cup I thought we acquitted ourselves really well and were the better side in the second half.
We held them to a draw over 90 minutes and that night we didn’t have Antonio available...we can get a result up there and unlike previous times we’ve triumphed on their hallowed turf, it wouldn’t be much of a shock.