Hitzlsperger: ‘We were hopeful of winning at Bolton’

West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger insists that the team travelled to the Reebok confident of grabbing all three points.

HISTORY was always against West Ham at the Reebok on Saturday, but despite the dismal capitulation, Hammers midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger insisted that the team went north confident of picking up the points.

The German international started his West Ham career with a bang, grabbing two goals and putting in fine performances as he won his first three games, but since then it has all gone wrong for the Hammers and Hitzlsperger has suffered alongside them.

“We came to Bolton thinking that we could get the three points,” he said after the 3-0 drubbing. “But the way we went into the game it never looked like we were going to win it.

“It was very disappointing. After the first two goals it looked like we could come back and we tried very hard, but it was difficult today and we just couldn’t match them.”

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Since Hitzlsperger returned from injury in February, the central midfield axis of the German plus Scott Parker and Mark Noble has been integral in West Ham’s success, but in the second half against Manchester United and now for the whole 90 minutes at Bolton, the trio have looked off the pace.

“We have had some good wins lately and even last week against Manchester United we played well in the first half. It was disappointing in the second half, but they are a really good team,” said the 29-year-old midfielder.

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Many fans would have been left frustrated at the room that Bolton’s strikers were given during Saturday’s match, but Hitzlsperger insisted that they did not give the home side an easy ride.

“I think they did have to work hard for the goals and they had Sturridge who looked fantastic,” insisted the German. “It’s unfair for me to criticise any single player because I think the whole team was disappointing today.

“But they did have to work to get their goals, they did have some space, but it was not down to just one or two defenders, it was down to the whole team.”

That was certainly true, as is the assumption that if the Hammers continue to play in the same vein, they will be in the Championship come August.

Hitzlsperger though, is keen to stress the positives and emphasised the fact that survival is still very much in their own hands.

“Before Bolton we have had some good games and if we play like that then we will stay up,” said the West Ham spin doctor. “You can’t really judge it on today. We have six big games coming up and I’m sure we won’t play like this again, especially next week and therefore that is what we should focus on.

“I’m not making any predictions as to whether we will stay up or go down, but it is in our own hands. we have to improve massively on the Bolton performance.

“We play four teams around us that are beatable, but they will fight and scrap like Bolton and we have got to match up against them.”

He’s right and now is the time for the experienced men to come to the fore. When Hitzlsperger steps out against his old team Aston Villa on Saturday, the German must be back firing on all cylinders.

Maybe we will see ‘Der Hammer’ strike once again.

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