Tony Cottee: What's most pleasing about the Hull game is how clinical we were
It was a fantastic result to beat Hull 3-0 and it was good to see how clinical we were in front of goal,"" says Tony Cottee
It was a fantastic result to beat Hull 3-0 and it was good to see how clinical we were in front of goal.
I had spoke in recent weeks about the importance of continuing to create chances and I know with Carlton Cole up front, sooner or later we would really put a team to the sword.
There had been concerns that we were not taking our opportunities in front of goal, but with both Scott Parker and Alessandro Diamanti in the team I knew against a poor Hull back-line we would be too strong.
The Italian was named man of the match and he has really upped his game in recent weeks.
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We all know about his ability from set pieces, but his crossing, quick-thinking and passing has really impressed me.
Hull did not turn up, but you still have to get the result.
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An early goal in any game is so important and it would have been a huge boost to everyone with an interest in West Ham to see Valon Behrami find the net in the third minute.
It really lifts the crowd and although they are obviously right behind you at the start of the game, a goal adds that little bit more to the atmosphere.
It also has a huge impact on the opposition and Hull manager Phil Brown would have been frustrated by the early strike.
All week he and his assistants would have set out a plan on the different ways to keep the Hammers from scoring.
Conceding a goal after three minutes means that plan is now out the window, because now you cannot just defend and at some stage attack to salvage anything from the game.
Cole made it nine for the season and looks like he has recaptured his form he had before his injury, while Julien Faubert scored a deserved goal.
He has had a tough time, suffering a horrible injury and since then had struggled to find form.
The last month or so, his performances have come on a lot and he gets forward a lot more than he used to.
This is down to confidence and he finds himself in good positions to put crosses in to the box, which are the most impressive part of his game.
I had spoken about how it was vital we picked up four points from the Birmingham and Hull games so to pick up six is fantastic.
These were two crucial games and if we had done poorly in these outings, we would have been at the stage where every remaining home game would have been a must-win.
Thankfully that is now not the case and the pressure has really eased on the Hammers.
It can have such a positive impact on your performance and subsequently results if you can play with more freedom, knowing that you have control of your own future.
The six points pulls us that little bit further ahead of those behind us and opens the gap up to four points between us and the bottom three.
AFTER Saturday's comfortable win against Hull City I would say we need another three wins from our remaining 12 games to stay in the division.
We are on 27 points and with those wins plus say two or three draws, we would be on 37 or 38, which I believe will be enough.
Hull survived with 35 points in the last campaign and with the league even tighter this year, you may not even need that many to play in the Premier League next season.
I can't see it going the way of 2002/03 when we were relegated with 42 points.
Everyone seems to be beating each other at the moment and I cannot see too many other teams emulating the recent runs of Birmingham and Blackburn, whose good form has probably done enough to keep them up.
The battle to stay up is really from us down in 13th and with Portsmouth's fate pretty much sealed, there are seven teams left to fill those two places and it will almost certainly go down to the last game of the season.
By then we would have hopefully secured our safety and with tough away games all the way through to the end, it is imperative we pick up the 10 points or so needed at home and win three of the six remaining matches at Upton Park.
If we get any points against either Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton or Liverpool it would be a bonus and the only game where we can hope to get a result is Fulham and even then, that would be a tough ask.
They are a top-10 team who have an excellent manager in Roy Hodgson, although their participation in the Europa League means they will have a long, hard season, so they may be vulnerable when we visit the Cottage.
Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner