Everton clash so crucial to our season - Ilunga

PUBLISHED: 11:19 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG HERITA ILUNGA has issued a rallying cry to his West Ham team-mates ahead of the club s match against Everton on Saturday after declaring that they have no choice but to beat the Toffees. The Hammers ended a sequence of four straight d


HERITA ILUNGA has issued a rallying cry to his West Ham team-mates ahead of the club's match against Everton on Saturday after declaring that they have "no choice" but to beat the Toffees.

The Hammers ended a sequence of four straight defeats with a draw at Middlesbrough last weekend, but the club's winless run now stands at five games and defender Ilunga admits that it is vital they rediscover the winning habit.

"We came back from Middlesbrough with one point on Saturday. It was a great thing after the bad series of matches in the past weeks," Ilunga said on his official website.

"But there is only one regret - that we did not maintain our lead and score a [winning] goal at the end.

"[Now] there is no choice - the Hammers have to win against Everton this week."

Ilunga has emerged as a consistent performer at Upton Park after joining the club on a season-long loan from Toulouse in September, catching the eye with a series of energetic displays under Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola.

The Congo international has also struck up a rapport with the club's supporters, who were initially suspicious of his arrival only hours after the shock exit of George McCartney, which prompted former manager Alan Curbishley to resign in a row over transfer policy.

And the athletic full-back has revealed that he was moved by the sight of a Congolese flag among the West Ham supporters at the Riverside last weekend.

"I want to thank the person who came to watch the match [at Middlesbrough] with the Congo's flag," said Ilunga, whose birthplace has been torn apart by fresh outbreaks of conflict in recent months.

"I was very touched by this attention because I am very sad with all the problems that happened in the country of my birth."

Ilunga is expected to form part of an unchanged West Ham team against Everton after Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola expressed his satisfaction at the performance against Middlesbrough.

"We came into the game from four defeats and the players were great so I'm pleased with them," Zola said.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 13:00

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has backed English Football League chairman Rick Parry’s combative letter to the Government and revealed the toll on players caused by the continued absence of fans from matches.

Wed, 16:00

London Lions have added Great Britain centre Fahro Alihodzic to their roster as they approach the start of the domestic season and look to January’s FIBA Eurocup campaign.

Wed, 15:00

A programme to get more youngsters involved in outdoor sport is being started at Mile End stadium in the search for “the hockey stars of tomorrow”.

Wed, 13:00

West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye is feeling optimistic under manager David Moyes.

Wed, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton was ‘disappointed’ that his side failed to push on after early lead as they drew 1-1 with Exeter City.

Tue, 20:55

League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Exeter City 1

Tue, 14:00

Lukasz Fabianski 7: Huge save to deny Raheem Sterling late on. Went right way and almost stopped Phil Foden’s goal.

Mon, 13:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton knows they’re not the finished article yet but is way more pleased with progress after their 2-0 victory over Stevenage.


Did you know? UCAS gets almost 3 million university applications from around 700,000 people each year. That’s a lot of competition. So how can your son or daughter stand out? 

With winter fast approaching, it is now more important than ever for us all to carry on following COVID-19 precautions to help stop the spread of the virus by always observing the three-tier local restrictions and remembering three key words – Hands, Face, Space.

The NHS COVID-19 app can make a real difference to how we all tackle the pandemic, protecting our loved ones and those most at risk from coronavirus. Everyone aged 16 and over across England and Wales can download the app for free and play their part in combating the pandemic.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser