West Ham’s Reid has done Europe in July
PUBLISHED: 15:30 18 May 2015
PA Wire/PA Photos
Hammers defender Winston Reid has warned that things would not be easy in Europa League qualifiers if they get there
Winston Reid is one of the most laid-back footballers in the Premier League and when asked about the prospect of playing European football in July, he simply shrugs his shoulders and mutters: “We will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Mind you, the New Zealand international has seen it all before. In his time at Midtjylland in Denmark, he started his UEFA Cup campaign in July and then ran Manchester City close at the beginning of August.
“There are no easy games, it is tough,” warned the 26-year-old. “The club has to be ready, you can’t just go out there an put a willy-nilly team out there.
“When I was in Denmark, the season had already started in July, but the Premier League won’t have started and we might be coming up against teams who may have already started their season.”
So what about that game against Man City back in 2008. Reid played both legs and went so close to causing an upset.
They lost 1-0 in their home leg, but bounced back at The Etihad with a 1-0 win of their own which took the game to penalties. Despite him scoring his, they gallantly went out.
So is the West Ham defender embarrassed at the prospect of getting into Europe via the Play Fair League? Not a bit of it.
“Whatever way you get in, it doesn’t matter I guess,” he said. “You are in the hat like everyone else and it is something the players should look forward to, especially the younger players, but also those who haven’t played in Europe before.”
It will be a suitable reward for West Ham’s efforts, especially for their early season form, but Reid knows just how difficult it will be.
“It is obviously one of those things that the club and the players would look forward to, but it is going to take a massive effort from the squad to all pull together,” said Reid.
“European games means more matches and also starting the season earlier, but I guess we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”