December 11 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Hammer-of-the-Year Winston Reid is determined that both he and the team must improve on last season
Hammer of the Year Winston Reid is convinced that both he and the whole West Ham team can make improvements on their efforts from last season.
In the case of the New Zealand international, it may be tougher than you think. He hardly put a foot wrong last term, was the heart of the West Ham defence, stepped in as captain in the absence of Kevin Nolan, took just about every prize going and was also appointed as his country’s captain.
But Reid knows that neither he nor the team can sit back and remember what they managed last term.
“We have been talking about our goals for the season and I think the main thing for us is that we don’t rest on our laurels from last season,” insisted the 25-year-old centre half.
“We are looking to make progress, try and get better than last year and it is not only me. I think the whole team wants to get better and the manager as well.
“You never stop learning, so we always want to improve as a team and individually as well.”
So where does Reid think he needs to improve as a player?
“I think there is always a lot of things that I want to improve in my game,” he said. “There are different areas of my game I need to work on and improve ball-wise and with defending.
“There is basic defending and developing an understanding with my team-mates a lot better, anticipating what you are required to do.”
Reid has been consistently good during pre-season, including Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Pacos de Ferreira where he played the first half with James Tomkins and the second with James Collins.
“Pre-season has gone really well,” he said. “I have played a lot of games and now we are all looking forward to the new season.
“Pacos were similar to the two teams we played earlier in the week, they were good on the ball and very technical, so it was certainly a good test for us.”
It was another test that Reid and his defence passed for most of the game, with only one long shot which deflected off the head of Collins, costing them a clean sheet.
Reid knows that the defence played such a vital part in last season’s success and he believes it will do the same again.
“Obviously last year we had a good defensive unit and hopefully this time around we can continue with that, no matter who plays,” said Reid, hinting that he is still unsure who he is likely to partner at centre half come Saturday when Cardiff City come to town for the opening of the Premier League season.
He does know that a good start is absolutely vital, just as it was last year.
“It is really important and I think we have the same sort of schedule as we did last year, so hopefully we can get those early points and get the job done, but it is going to be difficult this year,” he said.
“There are a lot of good teams in the league, so it is not going to be easy, but we will back ourselves and hopefully we will get off to as good a start as we did last year.”
If Reid has as good a season as he did last year, then West Ham are likely to be doing exactly the same.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce believes that Arsenal have the ability to win the league this season.