Tony Cottee: We must prepare for a battle on Saturday

Playing against Bolton Wanderers is always going to be a big physical test and I can see Saturday s game at Upton Park being no different, we have to be prepared for battle,"" says Tony Cottee

Playing against Bolton Wanderers is always going to be a big physical test and I can see Saturday's game at Upton Park being no different, we have to be prepared for battle.

Yes, boss Owen Coyle is keen to play passing football, but when you play with Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander up front, the way you will have to approach the game is pretty obvious.

Davies is a clever player and I am sure he will try and match himself against James Tomkins (pictured left) and how well the youngster plays the former Blackburn man will be key.

He will try to bully James and both he and Elmander are very physical, so I believe how we handle their forwards will decide the outcome of the match.

The communication between Tomkins and his captain Matt Upson will be key, but the two of them have been playing well together lately so I am hopeful it is a contest we will win.

The other end of the pitch will be just as important and with Gary Cahill missing for Bolton, we have a big advantage.

Most Read

The former Villa man is a big player for them and is a very good defender who is also strong aerially and his absence will mean Carlton Cole is more likely to cause some damage.

The former Chelsea man is excellent at holding the ball up and he will be a huge player for West Ham on Saturday.

It is another game that is important we don't lose as we face another team that are just below us in the table and a victory would see us continue our climb towards mid-table.

That rise was hampered last week after the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, but it was great to see the return of Kieron Dyer.

He is an excellent player and it must be so frustrating for him and us as fans that we have not really been able to see that because of his injuries.

He has such quality on the ball while his pace is a real weapon. He gives you lots of options because he can play right back, right midfield or even as an attacking midfielder.

Kieron has one year left on his contract after this season and it would be great if he could make a real impact between now and then so he can earn another deal.

He is the type of player that when fully fit you not only want in your squad, but your team and the unfortunate injuries he has picked up are not his fault.

You cannot account for breaking your leg in a League Cup match against Bristol Rovers and I know the fans get frustrated with him, but that is only because we all know what a good player he can be.

He has not been value for money because of his injuries but it's like anyone doing any job ,you are not going to turn around and ask for less money that is being offered to you.

Being a footballer is a short career, you only have to look at what has happened to Dean Ashton to see that.

You have yourself and a family to support so you have to do what is best for yourself, just like everybody else does in a normal job.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner