Taylor: Fans shouldn’t panic about West Ham promotion hopes
West Ham winger Matt Taylor is focusing on the positives, despite a disappointing home draw with lowly Doncaster Rovers
The boos and jeers from the West Ham fans may well have still been ringing in his ears, but experienced winger Matt Taylor has heard it all before and he is determined to focus on the positives.
After four successive home draws, many are suggesting that the wheels are coming off the West Ham promotion bandwagon, but the 30-year-old is having none of it.
“If you had told me it was four home losses on the trot then yes, I would be worried about things, but it isn’t,” said the winger, who filled in at left back during the 1-1 draw with Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
“So much is made about not winning at home, but you have got to understand that when teams come tom play at West Ham – no disrespect to any team we play against – we are arguably the biggest team in the league.
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“It is like in the Premier League, everybody goes to Manchester United or Manchester City and they shut up shop and teams do that here. We have to be more acute in making sure we kill off teams in the way we probably should do.”
Taylor accepted that Saturday’s performance was not the best, but he insisted that the problems were not huge ones.
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“We are creating chances, we are playing good football, but we are just not clinical enough in front of goal,” he said. “If I was standing here now and we were drawing 0-0 and not creating chances and scoring goals then it would be a completely different story, but we are sitting second in the league and we have to take the positives from it.”
West Ham certainly started well against Rovers on Saturday, but Taylor admitted that they could not keep up that frantic opening 10 minutes.
“We started extremely well, but we didn’t capitalise on Kevin Nolan’s goal. I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit and ultimately paid the price by not winning the game, but obviously we are not so unhappy because we didn’t lose the game.”
Taylor was drafted in at left back as George McCartney switched to the right, but he insisted that it was not a role that is new to him.
“I played there for a couple of years when I was around 21 or 22, so it is not hugely alien for me,” he explained. “I haven’t played there regularly in the past three or four seasons, but I know what to do and it is a nice compliment that the manager thinks I can do a job there.”
It certainly prevented him from delivering the sort of crosses that has seen him amass six assists this season, a tally that is more remarkable when you consider the stop start season that Taylor has had with injuries and then a three-match ban following his red card against Southampton.
“It has been a frustrating season for me, but it is not all about me,” said the wide man. “You have to put those things aside and at the end of the season I will hopefully look back and collectively we will all have smiles on our faces.
“We have got 11 cup finals from now until the end of the season and we have got to win as many as we can it’s as simple as that.”
Many fans are beginning to doubt West Ham’s prospects, but Taylor wants them to put the situation in perspective.
“If had said to everyone at the football club, especially me at the start of the season, that with 11 games to go we would be second, three points off the top with a game in hand, everyone would have taken that,” he insisted.
“I understand the fans frustrations but I can assure them that to be brutally honest, it filters down and our frustration is just as much as theirs.
“We have got to start winning games and if we can find the form at home that we have found away, I don’t see any problems.”
Perhaps things are not so bad after all!