West Ham’s Parker is happy to use the ‘L’ Word

Scott Parker put in another excellent display in the Carling Cup semi-final, but he admits that the team needed some luck to win it.

WEST HAM boss Avram Grant may not like to mention the L word, but for midfield talisman Scott Parker, he was happy to use it.

“We were probably a little bit lucky to win the game,” admitted Parker after another whirlwind display that covered every blade of the Upton Park grass.

“It was a game of two halves really. I think we controlled it in the first half and never looked in danger. I thought we deserved to come in more than 1-0 up.

“But in the second half it has changed a little bit. They put us under a lot of pressure and then Victor got sent off and it was always going to be an uphill struggle from then on.

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“But we dug in and got a goal and though a draw was probably a fair result, that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Parker and Mark Noble in the centre of midfield ran the show before the break and the 30-year-old felt that they needed to be cooler in front of goal to take advantage of their dominance.

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“I just thought when we got to the final third in that first half, that we tended to rush things and it became a little bit difficult for us,” he said.

“But I thought we played really well in the first half and we can take great positives from the game, and it will auger well for the return match.”

However well Parker and his team-mates played in that first half, that was soon negated in the second as Birmingham took total control.

It has become a familiar story at Upton Park recently, and Parker can’t quite understand why.

“I think obviously their manager has given them a right old going at, because they didn’t really turn up in the first half,” reflected Parker.

“Whether that was because we played so well, I’m not sure, but it was always going to happen that they would hit back.

“Once Victor got sent off it was going to be doubly hard for us and they really controlled the game. The only way we were going to score was on the break and we did, though we got a little bit of luck obviously.”

After resting for most of Saturday’s game with Barnsley, Parker played 90 minutes against Birmingham, despite struggling with a slight injury, but the workmanlike midfielder, vowed to carry on regardless.

“I’ve got a little bit of an ankle injury,” he admitted. “I just felt my ankle towards the end of the game and I was a bit tired, but I will be okay.”

There is never any shirking from the England international and he believes that the tie is very much still in the balance.

“It is going to be difficult I think,” he said. “We go to their place, but I think we can take some positives from when we went there earlier in the season and were 2-0 up.

“We know it is going to be tough, but we took some positives out of the first half of this match and if we can reproduce that in both halves, we have got a good chance.”

It is going to be tough, but with Parker in the West Ham corner, you just feel that they may have the weaponry to make the final.

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