West Ham winger: I haven’t even thought about losing play-off final’

15:56 15 May 2012

West Ham United

West Ham United's Matt Taylor in action

EMPICS Sport

West Ham star Matt Taylor will not contemplate defeat when it comes to Saturday’s clash with Blackpool at Wembley Stadium

Last season, West Ham winger Matt Taylor suffered the humiliation of defeat at Wembley when his Bolton Wanderers side were thrashed 5-0 by Stoke City in the FA Cup semi-finals.

This time round, he is not even contemplating the prospect of losing as he prepares for the Hammers’ play-off final showdown with Blackpool.

“I played there last season, but obviously it wasn’t a great experience,” admitted the 30-year-old wide man.

“I have been there though, so hopefully I will know what to expect and it will be a better experience this time round.”

It would be hard to be worse. Taylor came on as a second-half substitute at Wembley when Bolton were already trailing 3-0 to the rampant Potters and things did not get much better when he was on as the team were eventually thumped by five.

However, Taylor is only thinking about the positives going into Saturday’s game.

“The remit at the beginning of the season was to get ourselves promoted,” he said.

“I think as a club and from the manager especially down to the players we knew what we wanted to achieve and we have now got 90 minutes to do that.

“I haven’t thought about losing because that would be a pretty defeatist attitude. I haven’t really thought about the game too much yet, I am not putting that scenario into my head just yet.”

West Ham are overwhelming favourites on Saturday, especially as they have thumped Blackpool twice already this season, but not in the eyes of Taylor.

“You are the only guys that make us favourites, not us,” he insisted.

“There is no more pressure on us than on Blackpool to get promoted and get back into the Premier League.

“We are both in the same position in terms of both were relegated last season and would obviously like to bounce back at the first opportunity.

“The previous results don’t count for anything. For me it is 90 minutes now and that is all that is important.

“The results count for nothing when the whistle goes at 3pm on Saturday.”

If West Ham are to win the game, then they will look to Taylor’s power at set-pieces as one of their most potent weapons.

The winger has had most assists for the Hammers this season and he knows just how important set-plays are in potentially tight matches.

“It is something that I have been fortunate to be blessed with, but you can put the ball in an area, but if you haven’t got the people attacking it and sticking their head in where it is going to hurt, then it counts for nothing,” said Taylor.

“The manager is very pro set-pieces in terms of his statistics, and especially at the highest level of the game.

“You look and see how many games are decided by set-pieces and it is such a vital and important part of modern-day football.

“I think you will see in the past 10 games statistically we have scored more goals from set-pieces than we have in the previous part of the season, and that has coincided with our results and good form,” he added.

Taylor has been playing at left back in recent games, but may well be moved into midfield on Saturday if Jack Collison fails to make it.

Either way, the player believes the team has what it takes.

“Everybody is confident because winning football matches breeds confidence and that is what we have done,” said Taylor.

“The boys are in good sprits and we want to approach the game as we would any one because you can’t put too much emphasis on one game.

“We are just going to treat it as any other away game and hopefully that will put us in good stead as our away form this season has been pretty good.”

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Lionel Messi now owns every single record in football. That’s what it seems like, anyway.

Read more

Jolie and rising British star Jack O’Connell were at the Unbroken premiere in London.

Read more

Eddie said that despite being sexually attracted to children, he’s never committed a crime and that there’s many more like him.

Read more

Promoted content

Gamucci is a global leader and premier brand of electronic cigarettes

Gamucci has an electronic cigarette tailored for every need. We have a range of both disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes suitable for all adult smokers. And for a limited time, some great discounts.

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

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
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more

West Ham Transfer News

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA

Here is a full round-up of this morning’s transfer news and rumours from around the web:

Read more
Winston Reid of West Ham United.  (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has admitted central defender Winston Reid could be tempted to leave Upton Park if there is more money on the table elsewhere.

Read more
Mauro Zarate of West Ham  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has told forward Mauro Zarate he must improve in order to get back into the first team picture at Upton Park.

Read more