Tony Cottee Column: Birmingham game is a must-win for West Ham

Blues match is a genuine six-pointer

BIRMINGHAM is a must-win game for West Ham this Sunday.

Earlier in the season matches such as this were seen as must not lose, but we are at the stage of the campaign where we have to be picking up three points from those near or around us.

The Hammers will be desperate to make amends for their Carling Cup exit last Wednesday and West Ham know the Blues are beatable.

They are without one of their best defenders in Scott Dann, while they are struggling to find a striker who can find the net on a consistent basis.

Three times the east Londoners have lead and twice failed to hold on and in spells dominated the opposition.

Hopefully we will have learnt from our mistakes in that game, because we know what is coming from Birmingham.

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When behind and struggling they tend to play more direct and it’s a method of football the Hammers don’t deal with well right now, so hopefully a lot of work on the training ground has been put in to try and amend that issue.

David Bentley will be available and is a good player, while the likes of Craig Gardner and Barry Ferguson could also be a threat.

With City and West Brom our next two fixtures a positive result is a must, because following that we have eight pretty tough matches.

We must approach those games in a decent position away from the relegation zone, so we have that cushion.