Carew: ‘West Ham are the Manchester United of the Championship’

Hammers striker John Carew believes teams raise their game when they take on West Ham

Striker John Carew describes the Hammers as the ‘Manchester United of the Championship’ and that all their opponents are raising their game to take on West Ham this season.

The 32-year-old Norway international stepped off the bench on Saturday at Selhurst Park to score a vital equalizer and almost head in a last-minute winner, but he admits that this season is going to be a tough one for the Hammers.

“In the championship, we are like Manchester United in the Premier League,” explained the six feet five inch striker after Saturday’s battling 2-2 draw.

“Everyone wants to get points from United and against us there are teams that instead of giving 100 per cent, will give 110 per cent and they play better than their level almost.

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“We are probably the best team in the league and everyone wants to beat us.”

West Ham have brushed aside the challenges of Watford and Nottingham Forest this season with four-goal blasts, but in recent games things have not been so easy with a home defeat by Ipswich and away draws against London rivals Millwall and now Crystal Palace.

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“Through the whole season when teams meet us they will raise their games and it is something that we will have to live with and cope with and I’m sure now we will be able to keep going and we will keep getting better.”

Carew came off the bench on Saturday to score his first goal for the club, but the former Aston Villa star is not in a great hurry to make a start for the team.

“I’m not focusing on that much,” he insisted. “I’m just focusing on doing my best when I get on the pitch and doing well.

“I’m not focusing on getting the start, but I do want to start as much as possible, though that is not my main focus.”

The big man was joined on the pitch by little Sam Baldock and he thinks that the former MK Dons man has a big future at the club.

“He is a young and promising player and he is quick and sharp and clever at finding space,” said Carew. “He will be a big player for West Ham United I am sure.”

Both had their influence on the game, but Carew had other ideas about who the man of the match was for the Hammers on Saturday.

“It was disappointing not to win because we had so many chances and Julien Faubert was putting in some amazing crosses,” said the striker.

“He was by far the man-of-the-match, he put in about 20 amazing crosses in the first half only and I would’ve loved to have been on the pitch to get on the end of them.

“It was a bit frustrating that we had to settle for a point.”

Frustrating, yes, but with Carew looking fitter and now off the mark, he might be a vital part of the West Ham armoury over the next few months.

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