Another step on the road to recovery

  • by John Allen
  • Filed: Thursday, 12th January 2023

We're regularly being told the ‘big games' are coming along thick and fast for West Ham right now. Although when results haven't been kind to you, the next game is a big game no matter what. But there are always those who like to add to the drama if they can.

Next up for the Hammers are Wolverhampton Wanderers, who currently sit two places below us in the Premier League, occupying one of the three 'relegation' places at the moment.

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But with 20 league games still to play – and just five points separating bottom placed Southampton with Leicester City, sitting in a comfortable-looking 13th place in the league and us somewhere between the two - all the connotations conjured up by claims of a must-win game could be more than a little premature.

None the less it's an unfortunate situation that occupies all our minds right now. For a certain section of our fan base, always looking to make capital for their 'Moyes Out' campaign - it's a situation they almost appear to relish.

We have, of course, just negotiated two games that were being highlighted as potentially terminal for Moyes. Leeds United, with their animated younger manager driving them forward from the touchline and their youthful enthusiasm and attacking instincts on the field, were widely being predicted to steamroller us into submission at a white hot Elland Road.

In the event the home side managed to salvage a point with a late goal. Then, last Saturday, we faced the team we have found it impossible to beat since they returned to the big time.

Once again the 'prophets' were confident that dismal trend would continue. It didn't of course.

Three points for our victory at the Gtech Stadium would have been nice – but a place in the next round of the FA Cup will have to do. More importantly that morale-boosting victory coming on top of the performance up in Yorkshire has rekindled some of the confidence and self-belief sadly missing so far this term.

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Our match winner Said Benrahma stated as much after the game. "We're very happy with the result," said Benni, "and we hope to continue this momentum. We drew 2-2 against Leeds, we won here, so we must build confidence off the back of this momentum and take each game as it comes."

We will surely go up to Molinuex in a far better frame of mind because of those last two performances. Wolves on the other hand might be in a less upbeat frame of mind after their mid-week disappointment of going out on penalties to Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.

Losing from the spot is never a good experience – plus the fact it was a tough night physically as well as mentally for the men in old gold. We have to turn that to our advantage.

Our record in that part of the Midlands should also contribute to our optimism. We have won 10 more games at Molinuex than we have lost – 33 victories compared to 23 defeats – including fours wins from the last five encounters home and away between the two teams.

Let's try to draw on a bit of positivity for a change. Our season won't be defined by Saturday's result! I've no doubt if asked David Moyes will call it as just another game with three points up for grabs like any other game.

I'm sure he'd like all three – but a share of the spoils wouldn't be a disaster, it would go down as another small step in the right direction for the team and the fans.

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