Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tomkins Is Still Looking Up Even Though Fans Feel Down; WEST HAM 1 MIDDLESBROUGH 1

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tomkins Is Still Looking Up Even Though Fans Feel Down; WEST HAM 1 MIDDLESBROUGH 1

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Dyer

WEST HAM missed a golden opportunity to move back into one of the automatic promotion spots but James Tomkins was nowhere near as downcast as some of the fans.

Tomkins and his West Ham teammates were booed off yet again at Upton Park following their fifth consecutive home draw but the defender is still banking on finishing in the top two.

"The confidence is still there despite the frustrations at home," said Tomkins. "Our away form is good but we just need to improve our home form a little. I'm sure we will be up there at the finish. We just need to be a little more patient and if the fans keep supporting us, I'm sure we will achieve our goal."

To be fair to the Upton Park crowd, they did stick with the team for large parts of the game, until their patience finally ran out when Middlesbrough substitute Bart Ogbeche hit a screamer of an equaliser past Rob Green in the 84th minute.

Up until then West Ham looked as if they were going to squeeze to their first home win since they beat Millwall on February 4, a result which would have moved them level on points with second-placed Reading, who lost 3-1 at Peterborough last night.

Abdoulaye Faye had given his side a fortunate 67th-minute lead when his header from George McCartney's cross glanced off Boro defender Joe Bennett's head and into the net.

Tomkins had a great chance to finish the game off only to see his header brilliantly saved by Jason Steele.

"It was a great delivery from Mark Noble," he said. "I got my head to the ball but the goalkeeper's pulled off a world-class save. It's important we keep battling away. The last few goals we've conceded have been good efforts from the opposition point of view but the good thing is it's in our hands again after Reading lost.

"The strikers didn't have that many chances and we all need to be better in that final third and create more. …

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