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West Ham defender: We realised that games were running out

12:46 03 February 2014

George McCartney of West Ham

George McCartney of West Ham

Archant

Hammers full back George McCartney was delighted to play in Saturday’s victory over Swansea City

West Ham defender George McCartney has often been the man nominated to speak to the press after heavy defeats like the 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City, so it was a great relief for him to chat about a victory on Saturday at Upton Park.

“It’s great to have a win,” said the 32-year-old Northern Ireland international, following the 2-0 victory overthe Swans. “We have had so many players out injured and you could probably see that confidence has been a bit low on the pitch.

“But at Chelsea during the week and then against Swansea City, we have got near enough a fit squad and now we are starting to show people just how good we can be.”

McCartney has been out injured himself, but with Razvan Rat being surprisingly released and Joey O’Brien on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder, he has stepped up to the plate and certainly played his part in Saturday’s 2-0 win.

“I’ve had another couple of weeks out with injury, but it is good to get back playing and putting in a decent performance,” he said.

“This game was extra important coming off the back of the Chelsea game. We didn’t want to waste that performance and we knew that we needed three points against a team that are down there with us.

“I think, especially first half, we performed well, got the two-goal lead, but then going down to 10 men we always knew that they would have more of the ball, but we defended well to see the match out.”

They certainly did, but McCartney doesn’t believe it is necessarily the return of the first-choice back four that was the key to their success.

“It probably isn’t that because we have kept 11 clean sheets this season and the back four has changed nine, 10 or 11 times,” he explained.

“Normally when you keep so many clean sheets it is because you can keep the same back four as everyone knows what their job is, but that hasn’t been the case this season and yet we keep getting clean sheets.

“It is hard to say what the problem has been. I think we have been slightly unlucky along the way, but it is great to have just about everyone back now and we can start moving forwards now.”

It is still a big task for the Hammers to haul themselves out of the bottom three, but McCartney believes that they have realised just what an emergency position they are in.

“Confidence has been a bit low, but I think over the last couple of matches, everyone has started to realise that games are running out and we know how important it is to stay in the league.

“Everyone is now putting it together and you see when the midfielders block the shots and put their bodies on the line, just how important it all is.”

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