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Hammers defender confident team will handle the pressure of play-off final

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Hammers defender Winston Reid is confident that West Ham can handle the pressure of the Championship Play-Off final on Saturday, May 19 in front of a packed house at Wembley Stadium.

The New Zealand international picked up the man of the match award on Monday afternoon following the Hammers’ 3-0 semi-final win against Cardiff City, but insisted the victory was a team effort.

“I think over two legs our team was better than theirs, that was the most important thing,” he said. “Everybody put in a good shift and after the first half it was game over.

“We were disappointed after missing out on automatic promotion.

“We said to ourselves that we had to pull it back together and get to the Premier League through the play-offs.

“The first two hurdles are out of the way and now hopefully we can finish it off at Wembley.”

And the 23-year-old defender is looking forward to gracing the pitch at the home of English football in front of 90,000 spectators.

“It is going to be a big occasion for me and the team, but hopefully the whole occasion won’t get to us and we will be able to just play our own game,” he said.

“The whole object is to get back into the Premier League and that is what we are concentrating on.”

Reid has enjoyed a blossoming partnership with James Tomkins in the heart of the Hammers’ defence, but the All Whites player thinks the whole team are in good form.

“I think the whole of the back four are playing well at the moment,” he added.

“Me and James are doing well I think, we help each other out and we understand each other’s games, but I think all the players have hit form and even the players coming off the bench are in form and that is vital at the business end of the season.

“Hopefully we can finish things off.”

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