Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win over Wolves a Must for Parker; Hammers Captain Targets Crunch Relegation Battle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win over Wolves a Must for Parker; Hammers Captain Targets Crunch Relegation Battle

Article excerpt

MUST-WIN GAME Wolves as one which SCOTT Parker has refused to shy away from branding West Ham's relegation six-pointer against Wolves tomorrow as a must-win game.

The Hammers have enjoyed a minirevival over the Festive period, taking four points from their last two matches and five from their last three.

That has proven crucial as all their main relegation rivals have also begun to eke out results, with Wolves' shock win at Liverpool on Wednesday sending the east Londoners back to the foot of the table.

Just a point separates the bottom two - and two points the bottom four - heading into the New Year's Day fixtures.

But, crucially, West Ham have played a game more then their rivals and know beating the teams around them is the easiest way to negate that disadvantage.

Asked if it was too soon to tag Saturday's game as must-win, former Newcastle midfielder Parker said: "No, I don't think so. I think that's exactly what it is, really. "There's no hiding the fact we go into the Wolves game and we've got to look at it like we've got to win.

"They're down there with us and, if we're going to get out of it, we're going to have to beat the teams around us.

"Certainly, Wolves are a team which we need to go and try to get three points from."

He added: "I think we obviously came into the Christmas period with winnable games.

"We're undefeated, four points, going into the Wolves game. Hopefully, we can go and pick up three points on Saturday and that leaves us with seven.

"So that'll be a good Christmas for us."

West Ham are looking to become only the second club to avoid Premier League relegation having been bottom of the table at Christmas.

And Parker accepts the current revival must become a full-blown resurgence if they are to pull off the great escape achieved by West Brom in 2005. …

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