Tony Cottee Column: I get caught up in the emotion of West Ham games even at work

“There were times recently that West Ham would go up north for a midweek game and lose.”

Another week, and another away win for the Hammers and we must have one of, if not the best record on the road in the English league.

I thought that the Middlesbrough game would be like the Southampton or Brighton trip, but West Ham dominated from the off, got the early goal and really controlled the game, which was impressive.

I was working for Sky on Tuesday night, watching Chelsea v Liverpool, but I was sat next to Graeme Sharp who was reporting on the West Ham game.

When Carlton Cole scored the second goal, I couldn’t help but celebrate.


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I forgot that I was on TV, I was just caught up in the emotion of being a Hammers fan.

We went to the Riverside and returned with three points and a clean sheet, what more can you ask for?

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Both goals were well-worked and finished well and the only negative for me is that we didn’t get the second strike earlier.

No matter what stage of the game, 1-0 is a dangerous lead, but the next goal can change things altogether.

I thought for the first time last night that we looked like genuine Championship title contenders, going away to the fourth-placed team, that hadn’t lost in the league for 16 games and breaking that record.

There were times recently that West Ham would go up north for a midweek game and lose.

I should know, I did it enough times.

However, there is now a resilience and mental strength that surrounds the Hammers and we just don’t look like losing.

This comes from the manager and the coaching staff, who have done a superb job in turning around what was a dismal record away from Upton Park.

I was pleased to see Freddie Piquionne score on Tuesday, and he took his goal well.

Sometimes I wish we could get more from Freddie, as he has all the attributes to be a top striker in the Championship.

I think that there are occasions when he needs to show a touch more urgency to get into the box, but he is a great option to have up front for West Ham.

I’ve been saying for some time that I was looking forward to having Matt Taylor back in the side and he didn’t disappoint.

He set up the first goal and provided a welcome outlet on that left-hand side, which had been missing in the last few games.

With him on the left and Julien Faubert on the right, the Hammers have options on both sides to get the service into the frontmen.

The win gives us a nice little six-point cushion between ourselves and Cardiff which is fantastic, although I don’t think that you will see any complacency from Sam Allardyce’s side, he won’t allow it.

This weekend, Burnley come to Upton Park on the back of a couple of decent results.

They have been a real mixed bag this season, but I don’t think that they will come to West Ham to make up the numbers and I expect them to have a real go at the Hammers.

Of course, there are a couple of former West Ham players in their ranks, and Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines will have a point to prove.

However, I expect the Hammers to make it three wins out of three with the current confidence in the team.

There is no point in going all the way to Middlesbrough and winning if you get beaten at home by Burnley the following weekend.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John

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