Hammers show much needed fight at Cardiff
09:00 17 January 2014
Tony Cottee writes for you each week
To go from the Man City game to the Cardiff performance was an incredible transformation.
Some would say that Adrian should have been dropped, but I think he is the one person who really deserved to keep his place.
Everything that was missing at City was in evidence at Cardiff. We fought for the ball, weathered the storm, put our bodies on the line and deservedly took the three points.
Getting Andy Carroll back was a massive boost for the manager, the players and the fans and it is vital that we keep him fit and ease him back into things.
I expect him to be on the bench again on Saturday, maybe playing half an hour this time, but having won at Cardiff, things are not so desperate for him to start now and he must keep clear of injury.
Newcastle will not be easy to beat and remember we haven’t managed back-to-back wins since our return to the Premier League.
There is no point winning at Cardiff and then getting thumped at home by Alan Pardew’s team, because we will be back to square one. There is no room for complacency.
We have Chelsea away following that where we will be unlikely to get any points, but after that we have a run of games where we will be looking to pick up plenty of points.
As I have said all along, this squad when it has all its players fit is good enough to stay up and with players returning, I think we can win a close game against the Toon on Saturday at Upton Park – I’m going for a 2-1 victory!
A nightmare trip to Manchester all round
I was one of the unfortunate fans who travelled up to Manchester last week to witness what can only be described as an absolutely shocking performance.
So it is incredible to think that just three days later, West Ham could find the fight and the spirit that was so lacking at the Etihad to grab a vital victory at Cardiff on Saturday.
My trip to Manchester was a nightmare from start to finish. I got a flat tyre before I had even left Brentwood, we went to the casino after the match and lost some money and then the alarm went off in the hotel so I got hardly any sleep.
But by far the worst part of the day was the football match in between. Manchester City were superb and I think they will go very close to winning the Champions League this season, but it just seemed that we went down without a real fight.
It is not the 6-0 that worries me much, I have been in teams that have lost 6-0, but it was the lack of tackles and the lack of passion that was uncomfortable.
We needed a Billy Bonds or a John Moncur or someone to really get stuck in and there was none of it.
I would say the club owes two sets of our fans. The ones that went to Forest and City as well as the ones that have already bought tickets for the second leg, all deserve some sort of financial compensation.