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West Ham’s Tomkins: This is no time to think the job is done

James Tomkins, West Ham United James Tomkins, West Ham United

Monday, February 10, 2014
8:35 AM

Hammers defender James Tomkins is looking to make it three wins on the trot against Norwich City

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Aston Villa's Christian Benteke executes an overhead kick during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham.Aston Villa's Christian Benteke executes an overhead kick during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham.

West Ham defender James Tomkins insists there is no time for complacency as they go into Tuesday night’s clash with Norwich City at Upton Park, despite the fact that victory at Aston Villa by 2-0 lifted them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The 24-year-old centre half helped the team to three points on Saturday aided by a 12th clean sheet of the season, but he is taking nothing for granted.

“It is certainly not the time to sit back,” he said. “We need to carry on from the win against West Ham because we all know if you lose a couple of games, you are dragged right into the trouble again.

“We are hoping to keep this run going and Norwich is a winnable game, no disrespect to them, but it is a game we can win.”

Norwich battled to a superb 0-0 draw with title-chasing Manchester City on Saturday and Tomkins knows it won’t be easy, but he insists that the morale of the squad is superb at the moment after three clean sheets on the trot and seven points out of nine.

“I don’t think we will feel any more pressure,” he said. “The lads are so confident at the minute. We won our last home game and don’t forget about the Chelsea game which was massive as well, and then beating Villa, so we are confident going into Tuesday, but we will need our whole squad because there are likely to be some tired legs after the Villa match.”

With Tomkins and James Collins at the heart of defence as well as Winston Reid coming on for the last two games as a substitute, the defence now looks close to its best, but Tomkins says that the whole squad is now coming together.

“I think if you look at the back four we have good quality there as well as throughout the squad,” he said. “We have had a couple of new additions with the Italians coming in which certainly helps to give us some competition too.”

Saturday’s win at Villa made it back-to-back wins for the first time since the team returned to the Premier League and Tomkins is unclear why it hasn’t happened before.

“It is tough to work out,” he said. “The manager always made a point of telling us when we had won a game about the importance of back to back wins, but this time he kept it a bit more low key, so perhaps that was the difference.

“It is something to be proud of from Saturday, but it is just a case of trying to keep it going now. That is two, but can we make it three?”

We shall see.

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