Jacobsen: ‘West Ham have 14 Cup Finals’

Danish defender Lars Jacobsen is back from injury and he knows the task that West Ham face for the rest of the season.

WEST HAM’S Danish defender Lars Jacobsen made a welcome return to the first team for Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest.

And he took no time in laying down the gauntlet for the rest of the Premier League campaign by stating that the team now face 14 cup finals to survive.

Jacobsen has been missing with an Achilles injury since the 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic at the end of November, but he showed on Sunday what a vital member of the team he is as he slotted seamlessly back into the right back position.

However, the 31-year-old was not entirely happy with his or the team’s performance in a scratchy first half which saw West Ham trail 2-1 before equalising just before the break.

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“If you look at the match you can divide it into two - a very poor performance in the first half and a decent performance in the second,” he said.

“You should be worried at half time because our performance was very poor. Certainly we had to change some things and we did and we deserved to win in the second half.

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“We should have scored more and they only had one half chance from a corner kick.”

Ineligible for the Carling Cup run, Jacobsen has still missed nine league games through his injury, so was it tough going into Sunday’s game?

“It was very frustrating being injured,” he said. “I haven’t played football for two months and it took me about half an hour to get started today.

“I was very rusty in the beginning and haven’t been playing competitive football for two months, so it was hard to get into it.

“But I felt very good in the second half, and physically I felt alright. I’m just happy that I got through and I didn’t feel my injury any more. I’m happy about that.”

Jacobsen will be a vital part of West Ham’s battle to avoid the drop and he has no illusions about just how tough the fight is going to be.

“I think the rest of the games this season are like cup finals for us, because we need to take points every time,” said the Dane. “It’s funny, we’re doing ever so well in the cups and we do need to take that into the Premier League so we can get some more points.”

That starts against Blackpool on Wednesday, but Jacobsen also revealed just how much the team are looking forward to locking horns with Birmingham City for a fourth time at Upton Park on Sunday lunchtime.

“Hopefully we can get three points at Blackpool, but I know it is a very difficult place to play,” he said. “We’ve seen how the big teams have struggled there like Liverpool and Manchester United, so it will be a very difficult game.

“I think the lads are looking forward to the Birmingham game. We showed when we played them at Upton Park, as long as we’re 11 v 11, we were the better team.

“Birmingham is one of those games you need to win at home, they are also at the bottom of the league, but we have to take one game at a time.

“The next game is Blackpool, so that’s our focus right now.”

So it should be, and with Jacobsen back and fit, that focus will surely become more intense.

Fourteen cup finals, and who knows, maybe a 15th at Wembley Stadium in May.

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