Captain tells Hammers to be more ruthless, if they want to win promotion
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Kevin Nolan believes West Ham United can still clinch automatic promotion, if they concentrate on hurting teams.
Speaking after the Hammers recovered from 3-1 down to draw with Birmingham City, the skipper admitted the Upton Park side must gain maximum points from their last four games to have a chance of avoiding the play-offs.
He told the London Evening Standard: “It’s not all done and dusted yet. We have to win every game now to give us a chance of going up automatically.
“We really have to give it a big push now. If that doesn’t work, then it’s the play-offs, but we have to make sure that, from now until the end of the season, we get the basics right.”
And Nolan says that the fans’ desire to play attractive football may have to be tempered to get results as Monday’s draw with Birmingham was West Ham’s seventh home game without a win.
He continued: “We got sucked in to just keeping the ball and not hurting them. We’re conceding sloppy goals when we have control of the game.
“We should have played some more long balls, to open up the game and try to get between their midfield and the back four.
“We should have played some more long balls, to open up the game and try to get between their midfield and the back four”
Kevin Nolan Quotes of the week
“There were a few things said to a few people at half-time but to be fair we have a great bunch of lads here, and we have to be able to tell each other when we’re not doing the right things.”
Nolan was booked after protesting to the referee, who failed to award the Hammers a penalty when Carlton Cole was pulled back by Steven Caldwell.
The captain said he had spoken to the striker about his reaction to the foul.
“People are going on about ‘divers’ in the game all the time, but Carlton, the honest lad that he is, decided to stay up after being pulled back.
“I said, ‘If you want the penalty, you have to go down’. If you’re honest, it seems, you don’t get it.”