Hitzlsperger: We need to fight and scrap in remaining games
PUBLISHED: 13:40 14 April 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Hammers midfielder ready to battle for Premier League survival
A relegation battle is something that requires grit, determination and fight. These three components are vital to any team’s survival in any league in the world.
On Saturday, West Ham lacked all three. The team that had showed so much promise in previous weeks, looked tired, unwilling and unable to fight.
At the Reebok Stadium, the Hammers started the game with a limp, and from the first whistle failed to look like they were going to break their Bolton hoodoo, which now extends to eight games in all competitions.
Daniel Sturridge caused the defence all sorts of problems, linking up well with West Ham nemesis Kevin Davies, and with just 20 minutes played, the side were already 2-0 down. Six minutes after the break, Sturridge scored his second to put the game to bed.
“It was very disappointing,” said West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger. “After the first two goals it looked like we could come back, but it was difficult today and we couldn’t match them.”
West Ham did try and show some fight on the pitch. Unfortunately, it was between Robert Green and Mark Noble, who had to be pulled apart by Matthew Upson.
“They had an argument,” revealed Hitzlsperger. “In the dressing room they shook hands and I think it is all sorted. We can’t afford to have arguments after the game.”
The German midfielder revealed that the squad are desperate to put the performance behind them and insisted that the team as a whole were to blame for the defeat.
“It’s unfair for me to criticise any single player. They (Bolton) worked hard to get their goals, they did have some space, but it was not down to one or two defenders, but the whole team.”
With West Ham now lying in 18th place and teams above them picking up points, Hitzlsperger knows that the pressure is on in the fight to stay in the Premier League.
“Before today, we had some good games and if we play like that then we will stay up. We have six big games coming up and I’m sure we won’t play like this again. Surely if we play like we did today then it will be tough.”
The Hammers still have four games left against teams that are in and around them in the table, and these will surely have an impact on which league West Ham are playing in next season.
“It’s in our own hands, we play four teams around us that are beatable, but they will fight and scrap and we have got to match up against them,” added Hitzlsperger.
This Saturday, is one of those games. A relegation six-pointer against Aston Villa. Another performance similar to last weekend would severely damage the Hammers’ hopes of survival. Would the real West Ham please stand up?