September 23 2014 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Hammers winger Stewart Downing confesses to a quiet time at the Brittania
One of the most influential players in West Ham’s February revival was Stewart Downing whose crosses provided much of the ammunition for those four wins.
So when things went wrong at the Britannia on Saturday as the Hammers crashed to a 3-1 defeat, the former Liverpool man was nonplussed.
“We had the chances, ‘Nobby’ (Kevin Nolan) scored one which was offside, there were other chances, but then Stoke counter-attacked us to score two,” said the 29-year-old.
“That is the disappointing think to be honest, because I just didn’t see it coming.”
Downing and fellow wingman Matt Jarvis have been important players in recent weeks, but with the former Wolves man left on the bench, it also seemed to effect the display of Downing.
“I was a bit quiet,” he admitted. “It was a difficult game for the wide men to get into.
“I started okay, got into some good positions and delivered some crosses, but it is difficult. Sometimes you just have to work hard in games like these, but I thought I was a little bit quiet.”
Maybe, but at the break with the score at 1-1, it was West Ham who looked the more likely.
“We said at half time that if we could go out quickly we could get a goal here,” said Downing.
“We had pressed them pretty well in the first half and they were giving us the ball back. It is disappointing because if we are not going to win the game, we should have at least got a draw out of it.”
They didn’t and that makes it two defeats on the trot. So is Downing now looking over his shoulder?
“We are still confident that we can get out of it, the four wins on the trot proves that,” he insisted. “But we have lost two on the bounce and we have to correct that.
“We have got Manchester United at home next and we have to get some more points on the board.
“We are disappointed we have lost the last two games, especially the goals we have conceded, they have been poor tand I didn’t see it coming.
“Man United had a tough game against Liverpool and play in Europe so we want to make it tough for them as well.”