Friday, 27 April 2007

Carry On Regardless

If West Ham lose at the JJB Stadium tomorrow afternoon there will be no excuses. Manager Alan Curbishley has refused to allow his plans for tomorrow's vital fixture at Wigan to be affected by the Premier League's investigation into the transfers of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. With the Hammers having been in the dock for the last two days Curbishley's plans could have been blown apart had the League decided to dock points- a scenario that would have resulted in almost certain relegation. "At the moment, whatever comes out of the inquiry is irrelevant," he said. "It's secondary to what we've got to do this weekend. The timing of the inquiry is not ideal but perhaps it’s been done for the benefit of all the clubs around us, not just for West Ham. Who knows what thinking has gone into it. But they’ve been determined to have this inquiry and there is obviously something there they want to investigate. I’m not going to be distracted by that. The most important thing is to get the points we need." The message is clear; despite the plethora of off-field distractions the fight for survival must 'carry on regardless'.

It is not something lost on Nigel Reo-Coker. "The Wigan match will be another test of character and I am looking forward to it," he said. "Whatever happens tomorrow and for the rest of the season, this has been a really testing season but you know what? I would not have changed a minute of it. I've found out a lot about myself, the people around me and the game itself which will hold me in good stead for the future. I'm still only 22 but I've learned so much from this season and I'm still learning."

The players can do their cause a massive favour if they can get the win tomorrow, and the West Ham captain feels the supporters can play a huge part. At least the players know they will not be short of backing as they have paid the coach travel to the JJB for 5,100 fans. "The game will be similar to the one at Sheffield United but we need to do a lot better," said Reo-Coker. "I believe we will. I know we have more than 5,000 going up on the coaches but I am told we could have as many as 8,000 fans up there which will be great for us. People are calling this the £50million game because that is what it means to stay in the Premiership. All I know is this is the biggest game of our careers."

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