Hammers united in victory quest

WEST Ham are united in believing they are unfortunate to be going into tonight's game a goal behind and can comfortably deal with Ipswich at Upton Park, writes Derek Davis.

WEST Ham are united in believing they are unfortunate to be going into tonight's game a goal behind and can comfortably deal with Ipswich at Upton Park, writes Derek Davis.

Midfielder Michael Carrick said: “Obviously the game was different from the type of games we have been playing week after week but I just felt we weren't really at our best.

“In saying that, we weren't bad and I felt that for the majority of the game we were comfortable, they didn't really cause us a lot of problems.

“Hopefully we can turn it around on Tuesday. The frustrating thing for us is that we looked quite comfortable and felt quite comfortable throughout the game really but obviously they have got the win now and that makes it difficult for us, but things could change quite quickly.


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“It is only one goal, and we can overturn that. I'm not saying it is going to be easy, it's going to be difficult, but it is a new game now and we will treat it as a cup tie and see what happens.”

The Hammers are likely to change things a little at the back with former Fulham defender Rufus Brevett replacing Hayden Mullins at left-back.

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That would mean Tomas Repka keeping his place at right-back, unless Anton Ferdinand is recalled.

Defender Andy Melville, who cleared an Ian Westlake shot off the line, said: “Everyone knows that it was a bad result, but everyone also knows that we can raise the performance considerably, we know we can do better.

“Hopefully we will be on the front foot on Tuesday night and we can turn the tables around. Ipswich are a quality side right through the team, and you know that because they are in the play-offs, and we will expect much the same performance from them on Tuesday, but I'm sure we will be right up for it too.”

But while it was Hammers' defence that failed, and the Town attack that won the day against their illustrious opposite numbers, the midfield is likely to be key.

Substitute Jobi McAnuff said: “We will have a look at things in midfield for the second leg because they played a very tight four in there and that was a bit different to how other teams have played against us this season, so we must get to grips with that. But I still didn't think they posed us massive, massive problems and I think we were probably unlucky to lose the game.”

Manager Alan Pardew considers it the biggest game of his career so far and wants his players to remember the likes of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Billy Bonds, Alvin Martin, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole.

He said: “I'm hoping to do justice to the memory of players who have played on that surface down the years.

“I've asked the fans to wear claret and blue but the bottom line is the players. It will be a magical evening.

“In terms of the importance to the club, and the career I have say this is the most important for me by far.”

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