Intertoto? No thanks says McCartney

PUBLISHED: 14:46 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:04 05 October 2010

by BEN WELCH GEORGE McCartney has backed his manager s decision to shun the Intertoto Cup. Despite his team only entertaining an outside chance of qualifying for Europe, West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has closed the door on the alternative route into t


GEORGE McCartney has backed his manager's decision to shun the Intertoto Cup.

Despite his team only entertaining an outside chance of qualifying for Europe, West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has closed the door on the alternative route into the Uefa Cup.

Northern Ireland international McCartney believes the Hammers boss made the right choice.

"It's up to the manager what he wants to do with regard to going for Europe next year. I'm sure the players weren't too keen on going into the Intertoto Cup.

"It doesn't give you too long a break in the summer and I think the manager realises the players need six or seven weeks off.

"It's been a long season and we've got 10 games left and we've got to try and take as many points as we can if we're going to get into Europe," said the left back.

The former Sunderland defender made these comments after Saturday's mauling at the hands of Chelsea.

The four-goal demolition at Upton Park dealt a sucker punch to West Ham's assault on the Premier League table.

Last night (Wednesday) the Hammers took on Liverpool at Anfield and on Sunday they travel to White Hart Lane to take on Carling Cup winners Tottenham.

Sitting in tenth place - eight points behind Aston Villa in sixth - the Irons can't afford to lose any more ground on the chasing pack.

McCartney made no excuses for Saturday's defeat, but instead chose to hail the lethal finishing of Chelsea - not least former Hammer Joe Cole.

"That's why Chelsea are top of the league - they're clinical in front of goal. They've probably only had five chances all game and they've scored from four of them. Obviously Chelsea would have been really up for it after the Carling Cup final defeat and our whole team has had an off-day," said the Belfast born player. "It's the first time we've been beaten 4-0 this season and if they'd kept 11 men on the field it could have been a lot tougher. They're probably the best team we've played this year."

The every reliable McCartney, who turns 27 next month, refused to accept tiredness as an excuse for failure and urged his team-mates to tap into their energy reserves for the final push.

He said: "With the cup competitions and touching nearly 30 league games now it does start to catch up on you.

"But it's the same for everyone. We've got a big enough squad to cope with that, so it's just a matter of everyone digging in and seeing the season out.

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