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The Cottee Column: I felt for the supporters

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
5:30 PM

Hammers legend Tony Cottee writes for you each week

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I guess the least said about Sunday’s game the better, but you have to say that I feel really sorry for the supporters. I was watching at home and it spoiled my Sunday dinner, but our fans went up there in their thousands and got absolutely nothing back for it.

I know there were reasons that Sam had to pick a team like that, but I thought it was a really, really poor performance. You can’t even say that some of the youngsters came out of it with some credit, because I don’t think they did.

As I say, I know why Sam made the changes, but what didn’t help was the formation he played. It is okay to play three at the back if you have two up front, but this was a sort of 3-6-1 formation and I think it confused the young players and for much of the time we were all over the place.

Let us draw a line under that game and look at tonight’s (Wednesday’s) clash with Manchester City, where I really believe that Sam should play his strongest possible team.

It is going to be incredibly difficult, but with a two-legged game we will have a second bite of the cherry and we must stay in the tie before going back to Upton Park, even if we are 1-0, 2-0 or maybe 3-1 down.

To achieve that, we have to pick our best players and everyone of them has to give 100 per cent.

It is a great opportunity to get to a Wembley final and though the league is vital of course, this is a big chance and we must do everything we can to take it.

Cardiff will be tough with new boss

Once we get Wednesday night out of the way, we have to ready ourselves for another vital game against Cardiff City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Once again, it is vital that we field our strongest team. I don’t see any reason why our players can’t play two games in four days, surely the players should be itching to get out there and show what they can do and try and get us out of the mess we find ourselves in.

One thing is for sure, Cardiff City will be up for it and raring to go.

They have a new manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and inevitably all the players will be desperate to impress the new manager, while it will also be his first home game since arriving at the club.

But on their day, West Ham can be a match for any team in the division, the thing we need now is for the team to have their day more often in the next few weeks.

We need our players back quickly and we need to strengthen the squad, but we must also look at this week.

Two positive results and we can turn this season around, two bad results and we really will be looking into the mire.

I will be at the game tonight with my mate Tony Gale and we are both hoping for a better effort than we saw on Sunday!

I’m going for a 3-1 defeat tonight to keep us in the tie and then a 1-1 draw on Saturday in Wales.

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