December 6 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Hammers defender George McCartney says they can take heart from Monday night’s second-half display against Stoke and take it into Sunday’s clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane
»George McCartney insists the team’s stirring second-half fight back against Stoke City on Monday night will spur them on against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in Sunday’s London derby showdown.
McCartney put in a superb shift after the break against the Potters, storming into their area on more than one occasion as the Hammers battled back for a 1-1 draw.
And he is hoping that the side carry on from where they left off on Monday.
“We can take heart from our second-half performance against Stoke City and go into Sunday’s game with a bit of confidence,” said the 31-year-old Northern Ireland international.
“Tottenham are a bit shaky at the moment and we will be going to win the game and I think the way we are playing at the minute, they are going to find it difficult to beat us.”
West Ham face a daunting run of fixtures which include trips to Spurs, Manchester United and West Brom, as well as home games with Liverpool and Chelsea, but McCartney is just concentrating on Sunday.
“Obviously it is going to be a difficult run, but it is all about teams coming up next,” he said. “It is one game at a time and it is Spurs on Sunday. It is a big derby and everyone will be up for it.
“It is going to be a tough game and there are tougher ones after that, but hopefully we can build on the 19 points we already have and stay in the top half.”
Midfielder Gary O’Neil knows just how important the game is to the West Ham supporters and he and his team-mates will endeavour to secure bragging rights for the East End club.
“It will be a big one for the fans,” said O’Neil. “I know they will be desperate to get something there and all the lads at the club will be well aware of that.
“We have gone to Newcastle and won, we did well at home to Man City. We have done well against teams that finished high up in the Premier League last season. Hopefully that can continue on Sunday, but they are a good side, especially at home.
Monday’s goalscorer, Joey O’Brien, will have one of the toughest tasks when he marks Wales international star Gareth Bale, but he is taking it all in his stride.
“Bale is a super player, but at the end of the day he is just a footballer,” said O’Brien.
“He’s abused players better than me, so hopefully he doesn’t have a good day!”
West Ham have already won two away games in the Premier League this season, at Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United and Sam Allardyce’s side will be hungry for more come Sunday at White Hart Lane.
“It will be a really hard game, they have some brilliant players,” said O’Brien. “But we will be going there to win it.”
That seems to be the general consensus at Upton Park, but the Hammers will have to break an 11-game run without a win at White Hart Lane to do it.
Fit-again Matt Taylor may well replace Modibo Maiga on the left, but otherwise Allardyce is likely to opt for a similar team to the one that drew with Stoke City on Monday.