McDonald: West Ham still have work to do

22:41 03 May 2012

Neil McDonald, West Ham United assistant manager

Neil McDonald, West Ham United assistant manager

EMPICS Sport

Hammers assistant boss impressed with side’s professionalism

West Ham assistant boss Neil McDonald insists that the Hammers still have plenty of work to do despite their 2-0 play-off semi-final first-leg win in Cardiff tonight.

The east Londoners put one foot firmly in the play-off final thanks to a Jack Collison brace, and McDonald was pleased with the professionalism of West Ham’s performance – something that the Hammers must keep if they are to book a place at Wembley.

“Everyone knew their job, and everyone did their job tonight,” said McDonald.

“It is an all-round team performance that we are very pleased with.

“It was a professional job tonight, and we have a professional job to do on Monday.”

Cardiff started the game the stronger side, but West Ham managed to stay firm, before Collison headed the visitors in front against the run of play.

The Wales international then doubled his tally with a deflected volley before half time, and McDonald was impressed with the midfielder’s contribution.

“Collison took his goals very well, he is very comfortable on the ball and that’s another two on his tally for the season,” said McDonald.

“We are starting to see the best of Collison. He has played a lot of games this season, even though he is still having to man-manage his injury, but he is getting through it very well and he is a vital player for us.”

The Hammers now turn their attention to Monday’s second leg at Upton Park, and the east Londoners’ assistant boss admits that his team’s 2-0 lead is a dangerous one.

“Two-nil is always a dangerous lead, but you would prefer to be two-nil in front, rather than two-nil behind,” he said.

“We could have done better, we could have scored another couple of goals, but let’s not be greedy, we’ve come out with a gameplan not to concede and we’ve scored a couple of goals so we are happy, but there is still a long way to go.”

West Ham had suffered with a bad run of form at the Boleyn Ground not too long ago, drawing too many games which saw them miss out on automatic promotion.

However, McDonald is confident that the team have put that firmly in their past and are back to winning ways.

“We are very confident ahead of Monday,” he said.

“The performance and the goals against Brighton and Hull have got that monkey off our backs of too many draws at home.

“We have scored eight goals at home in the past two games and we know that the crowd will be right behind us.

“We have got our head around trying to win through to the final and we have 90 minutes to do that.

“There is still a game to go and we need to be on our guard to kill the game off.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Prices are dropping like nobody’s business – and they’re set to fall further in January.

Read more

First Margaret Mountford and now Nick…

Read more

If you’ve only just discovered podcasts, you have a world of listening joy ahead of you.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

TOP STORIES

Quizzes

West Ham Wikipedia quiz

This new West Ham quiz will test even the most devoted Hammers fans’ knowledge…

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more
Roy Keane  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Roy Keane denied the world of more glorious beard action this weekend by shaving his famous chin hair off, however football is still littered with some impressive beards.

Read more

West Ham Transfer News

Top nine players who need a January transfer, including Dwight Gayle, Ravel Morrison and Emmanuel Adebayor

With less than two weeks to go until the January transfer window, every single Premier League club will be eyeing signings and departures.

Read more
Chelsea's Eden Hazard (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Here is a round-up from around the web of this morning’s top transfer stories.

Read more
Porto's Jackson Martinez (Photo by Miguel Riopa/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Catch up with the latest London transfer news and gossip from around the web.

Read more
Kevin Strootman  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Here is a round-up of all of today’s transfer stories from around the web.

Read more
West Ham United's Alex Song and Swansea City's Wilfried Bony battles for possession of the ball

West Ham co-owner David Gold has confirmed the club are looking into signing on loan midfielder Alex Song permanently.

Read more