West Ham Tony Cottee: We have nothing to fear at Manchester United and can take encouragement from display at Tottenham
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 November 2016
Our West Ham Columnist looks back on the pain at White Hart Lane before sharing his confidence ahead of two trips to Old Trafford
Up until the 87th or 88th minute at Tottenham on Saturday we had done almost everything right and not too much wrong. I know we conceded after taking the lead, but once we got the penalty Spurs didn’t look like scoring.
I was never comfortable because I felt like they might nick a late leveller, though nobody could have seen them scoring twice to win it.
With the equaliser, the penalty winner and Winston Reid’s sending-off it was three hammer blows!
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but from a tactical point of view it was the right decision to take off Dimitri Payet and bring on Havard Nordtveit – a defender.
When you are winning 2-1 away from home you have to shut up shop and for me the more poignant moment was when Simone Zaza didn’t pass quickly enough to Payet.
If he had then Payet could have got a shot off so that was more important than the substitution and the turning point of the match.
I know we are in 17th after the defeat, but there are no alarm bells ringing for me and our performance at Tottenham should give us plenty of encouragement ahead of visiting Manchester United twice this week and then Liverpool next month.
We’ll go to those places with confidence and we showed last year what we can do on the road. There is nothing for us to be worried about at Old Trafford. We need to be positive like last season in the FA Cup, a game we also should have won.
I’m pleased to see Darren Randolph get a chance in the Premier League. I’m a big fan of him and think he is the club’s best goalkeeper.
Adrian has been a great servant to West Ham, but he has made a few high-profile errors in recent weeks and it was the right time to make a change.
I watched Man United against Arsenal on Saturday, I was covering the game, and although they were slightly the better team, they didn’t play fantastically well.
What will be interesting to see is what team Jose Mourinho puts out for both matches. I’m sure Slaven Bilic will play his best side for the two games.
Wednesday is a great opportunity to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup and it would be nice to make the final this time having gone close in the past.
I don’t think we have anything to fear at Old Trafford so I’m going for a 1-1 draw on Sunday and then a shock 2-0 win in the cup on Wednesday.