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West Ham assistant disappointed by Arsenal postponement

Neil McDonald, West Ham assistant manager. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA Neil McDonald, West Ham assistant manager. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA

Thursday, December 20, 2012
3:30 PM

West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald is disappointed the Premier League clash with Arsenal on Boxing Day has been postponed.

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A strike by London Underground staff means the game has had to be rescheduled for late January, easing the fixture congestion the majority of clubs face around the festive period.

The Hammers also have an increasing injury list, with manager Sam Allardyce only able to name six substitutes against West Brom, but McDonald believes they would have been better off playing the game on the original date.

“I think you can look at it both ways; yes it gives us an extra couple of days to get players back, but it does mean we will have an even busier January,” he said.

“We would probably have preferred to play the game and we are slightly disappointed that it has been called off, but we will be ready when the game comes in January.”

Arsenal are one of only two sides to win in the league at Upton Park this season and McDonald was relishing the challenge of facing Arsene Wenger’s side at the Emirates Stadium.

He said: “After the good performance against West Brom away, keeping a clean sheet, and giving Arsenal a really good game earlier in the season, we were looking forward to going to the Emirates.

“I know they have picked up over the past couple of games but putting them under pressure would have been interesting to see.”

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