Tomkins: We must break the 40-point barrier

West Ham defender James Tomkins believes the team can survive in the Premier League, just as they did last season.

West Ham defender James Tomkins went through the agony of a Premier League survival battle last season and he believes that will stand the team in good stead when they scrap away for vital points this time.

Still only 22, Tomkins has already chalked up 72 appearances in claret and blue, including vital games in Gianfranco Zola’s relegation battle last year.

“We have got a lot of experience from last year having gone through it and I think it is pretty similar this time round,” said Tomkins, who was drafted in at right back at Bolton, only to be moved back into the centre of defence after the break.

“I think it is going to be hard because the teams all around us are picking up points – everyone is beating everyone – so we will have to see what happens and just take one game at a time.”

Last season, West Ham managed to stay up with just 35 points, but this time it looks like being a much bigger task. So how many points does Tomkins think they require this time round?

“I think we need to get over 40 points to stay in the league,” said Tomkins defiantly. “That is the way it is going at the moment, so I think about three or four wins will be enough.”

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Back-to-back defeats by Manchester United and Bolton will have hit the confidence of the team, but Tomkins insists that morale is still high in the camp, despite the losses.

“We are upbeat,” he said. “We have had good results against teams around us and though we’ve got to play a couple of hard teams, we can beat anyone on our day.

“We have beaten some big teams this year, so we can do it again.”

Tomkins started in the opening match of the season at Aston Villa back in August and he will be looking for the Hammers to make up for that dismal 3-0 defeat at Villa Park this Saturday.

“It is going to be a huge match,” he admitted. “Aston Villa are down there as well, so that is going to make it a bit of a six-pointer.

“Hopefully we can get some revenge on them for the opening day of the season. They are a good team, but we are a good team as well and we can beat them.”

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