Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Eyes on the Ball

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Eyes on the Ball

Article excerpt

Don't start thinking about foreign beaches just yet Boro.

There's eight games still to play and the players owe it to the season ticket holders to keep going flat out.

In any case, there are a lot of players with something to prove before the summer, so Boro need to win a few games - starting at West Ham on Saturday.

The bottom line also concerns our Premier League future because we are not out of the woods yet.

If Boro throw in the towel, and win just one of the last eight, then anything could happen.

We have to keep winning, keep pushing up the table and maintain that winning mentality.

In many respects we are facing a toughie to get the season going again after the Cup KO at Old Trafford.

The Hammers may have had all the luck in the world in beating Blackburn last week, but it will have raised their confidence no end.

They'll see the match against us as a must-win game and aim for three points, which can increase their slim chances of beating the drop.

I have to be honest and admit that I will feel no sympathy for West Ham if they go down.

What their chairman did to Alan Pardew was a disgrace and I hope it comes back to haunt the Hammers.

Alan Curbishley has plenty of experience and he has had time to turn things around there, but he hasn't achieved anything.

That, for me, shows that Pardew had done nothing wrong. He could yet have the last laugh because Charlton are playing better than West Ham and have a better chance of beating the drop.

Things can change quickly, however, and that's why the Hammers will be desperate to beat us. I'm sure their players will have been saying in the dressing room that we can't win away.

We've won only one away all season and the Hammers will believe they can beat us by getting at us.

That's where character and commitment comes in. We will need to show plenty of guts if we are to get a result.

It doesn't help that we are going there without at least a couple of first team regulars, and maybe more.

Julio Arca will be missed in midfield because he has been so influential for us. …

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