West Ham vow to fight to the wire
PUBLISHED: 17:43 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:10 05 October 2010
By JONATHAN CLEGG GEORGE McCartney has vowed that West Ham s stars will not go into cruise control in the final weeks of the season. The Hammers hopes of a strong finish to the campaign were dealt a devastating blow last weekend as the club s injury jin
By JONATHAN CLEGG
GEORGE McCartney has vowed that West Ham's stars will not go into cruise control in the final weeks of the season.
The Hammers' hopes of a strong finish to the campaign were dealt a devastating blow last weekend as the club's injury jinx struck again in a stoppage time defeat at Sunderland.
McCartney was one of four players who failed to finish the game at the Stadium of Light - bringing West Ham's crippling casualty list to 15 first-team players.
With so many players sidelined, there is little chance of the Hammers closing a nine-point gap on the Premier League's top six.
But McCartney dismissed suggestions that the players will take it easy now that there is little to play for, promising supporters that the team will
continue to fight until the season draws to a close.
"The players are going out every game trying to win, there's no other way to approach it," said McCartney.
"The manager is certainly not going to let us get complacent or cruise the last five or six matches. The effort is going to be there.
"There's probably not a lot we're playing for in terms of Europe but if we can catch the teams above us that would be a massive bonus going into next season."
With four of their remaining six league games at Upton Park, McCartney insists the club are capable of recreating their miraculous finish to the previous campaign and picking up points during the run-in.
"We've got four games at home and that will be a big factor. If we can get a similar finish to what we had last season, then there is no reason we can't catch the teams above us.
"Another couple of wins could secure a top half finish and that would be a good improvement on last season."
For McCartney there is extra incentive to keep going until the final whistle sounds on the season.
The 26-year-old defender has been an ever-present for the club this season and he is desperate to continue that sequence against Portsmouth on Tuesday.
"We haven't had the best of luck with injuries throughout the whole season," he said.
"Quite a few players have played every game and as the season has worn on that has taken a toll.
"A few, like myself, have started to pick up niggling injuries and I've been carrying this hamstring injury for the last four or five weeks.
"Things came to a head at Sunderland and I had to come off because I was struggling in the first half.
But fingers crossed I should hopefully be back in training by the weekend and fit enough to play Portsmouth.
"I want to play in every game between now and the end of the season - to miss out now would be very disappointing.