Mullins: Europe is aim next season
PUBLISHED: 11:41 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 05 October 2010
By JONATHAN CLEGG HAYDEN Mullins believes West Ham can qualify for Europe next season despite their dismal end to the current campaign. The Hammers have won just one of their past eight games following last weekend s defeat at Bolton and have taken only
By JONATHAN CLEGG
HAYDEN Mullins believes West Ham can qualify for Europe next season despite their dismal end to the current campaign.
The Hammers have won just one of their past eight games following last weekend's defeat at Bolton and have taken only four points from a possible 24 during that time.
That sequence has left the club one place off the foot of the Premier League's form table - and this week's opponents Derby County are the only team with a worse record over the last six games.
But Mullins insists that recent results should not overshadow a season of improvement, in which the club have spent the last five months in the top half of the table following last year's relegation battle.
"We're still in the top 10 and this time last season we were struggling right down there, so we will certainly take this," said Mullins.
"Compared to last season, when we would turn up to places and not look like we were going to get anything, this year we have looked like the team who are forcing the issue in a lot of games.
"Hopefully we can build on that and this time next year we will be looking at a European place."
Mullins is one of the few West Ham players to survive the club's crippling injury curse, which claimed another victim this week when Anton Ferdinand suffered a hamstring problem at the Reebok Stadium.
The former Crystal Palace midfielder has appeared in all but two of the club's games this season and he admits the horrendous casualty list has forced him to play through the pain barrier in recent weeks.
He said: "I've had my share of injuries, with little knocks on my knees and ankles, which hasn't been great, but you just have to get on with it.
"We're suffering a lot of injuries again and Anton is a big loss for us.
"The injuries we have had this year are something I have never seen before but if everyone stays fit next year, we can be looking for a top-six place, which is what we are all aiming for."
West Ham's disastrous end-of-season run has scuppered any lingering hopes of European qualification this year, and Mullins insists the Hammers are now fully focused on maintaining a position in the top half of the table - and ahead of rivals Spurs.
"We know the fans are disappointed that we haven't put a couple of wins together but we are desperate to do that," Mullins said. "We don't want Tottenham to go above us and nor do the fans - we know what is at stake.