Tony Cottee Column: Hammers legend previews Blackburn v West Ham

It’s going to be a physical game in Lancashire

JUST like Stoke earlier in the season, playing Blackburn is a game where players must stand up and be counted.

There is no doubt the match at Ewood Park this Saturday will be a physical battle and it is up to us to match them in that department throughout the 90 minutes.

Defensively Blackburn are pretty imposing with Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba at centre half, so I feel the game could be decided in the midfield.

David Dunn could play there as could Morten Gamst Pedersen or Phil Jones and if, as expected Scott Parker and Jonathan Spector are the two paired in the middle for the Hammers, it is an area where we could gain the upper hand.

We must get it right tactically and for me it is vital we do all we can to limit the supply to El Hadji Diouf and stop crosses getting into the box.

James Tomkins, who has been playing very well of late and centre half partner Matthew Upson must remain strong as they will be in a battle up against Jason Roberts.

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West Ham have only kept two clean sheets in the league this season something that defensive coach Wally Downes will be keen to rectify.

I think its time we learnt from George Graham at Arsenal. We have an excellent goalkeeper and solid defenders. Let’s keep clean sheets and if necessary draw 0-0 at Blackburn this Saturday.

It wouldn’t be a bad result.

For all the latest West Ham news, plus regular updates and a match report on the final whistle from the match at Ewood Park follow us on twitter.

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