April 16 2014 Latest news:
Monday, December 30, 2013
West Ham’s injury crisis means taking a point from fellow strugglers Fulham on New Year’s Day would be a good result for the Hammers, according to assistant manager Neil McDonald.
With no fit recognised centre-back and attacking players such as Ricardo Vaz Te, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll all missing West Ham are down to the bare bones as they look to escape from the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.
A trip to Craven Cottage on Wednesday follows an enthralling 3-3 draw at home to West Brom at the weekend and, with a treatment room full of first-team regulars, McDonald believes another stalemate would suit the Hammers.
“Not to lose the game is important, that’s for sure,” McDonald, who was on media duties as manager Sam Allardyce was busy getting ready for January transfer window activity, said when asked if the Fulham clash was a must-win game.
“When you’re playing a team in and around you that is the thing to do.
We’ve scored three goals against West Brom but conceded three, we need to stop conceding and keep scoring. We are creating chances but it is difficult when you haven’t got your defenders playing.
“In this scenario, a win is great and puts you right up to the table but it’s important not to lose.
“If we had beat West Brom it would have pushed us up the table and then a win at Fulham would have moved us towards halfway.
“That is how very, very close it is and how tight it is and how important it is to pick up points and respect the point if you get it, it could take you further up the league.”
Allardyce could again be forced to play four full-backs in his denfence at Fulham while he also has the option of deploying Alou Diarra at centre-back.
Either way, only a win would give West Ham any chance of getting out of the bottom three - whilst the point gained from a draw could only lift the Hammers as high as 18th.