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"We should be aiming for Top 10"

01 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
"We should be aiming for Top 10"

West Ham stars Andy Carroll and James Tomkins talk season highs and lows, the relegation battle and the Fight of the Century...

West Ham stars Andy Carroll, James Tomkins and Diafra Sakho dropped into one of the Betway offices this week to join in with some Friday fun and games with the staff.

While they were here, we stopped for a quick chat about the season’s highs and lows, the club’s say in the relegation battle and of course, the fight of the century. (No, not Nigel Pearson vs Ian Baker…)

So, with four games to go until the end of the season – what is the target?

JT: Obviously, we just want to get as high up the table as possible. We’ve had a bad run of results of late but we want to put that right and have strong finish to the season.

Top half of the table is the ultimate goal that we set ourselves at the start of the year. On a personal level, I want to get back playing before the end of the season. It’s touch and go, but hopefully I can get back.

AC: We should be aiming for Top 10. I think at the start of the season we showed that we can be up there challenging, and we should really be up there now.

The last few games we’ve struggled, but the aim is definitely the top 10.

 

West Ham will have a big say in the fight at the bottom of the table, with your next two games up against Burnley and Aston Villa. What can you expect from these two clashes?

JT: Well, I know what it’s like from when we were down there a couple of years back.

I know how hard it is. It’s a dog fight. I’d say going up against those teams will be as tough as any Top 4 team now, when they’re fighting for their lives.

As you say, we can have a big say [in the battle against relegation] but we don’t think of that.

We’ll be going out to get a result as we would do against any other team, from now until the end of the season.

AC: It’s tough down the bottom and they’re scrapping for every point they can get.

We’ve still got to play three sides down at the bottom and as James says, it’ll be even harder than playing the sides at the top.

 

Who would you pick out from the visit of Burnley as their danger man?

AC: It’s got to be the man up top hasn’t it? Danny Ings. He’s been banging in the goals this season so we’re going to have to watch him.

Hopefully we can keep him quiet and pick up the three points.

 

Although we’re not quite finished yet, how would you describe how the season has gone for West Ham this year?

JT: We had a great start to the year. To be in the top 4 was a great achievement for the club, and even though we’ve slipped away from there now it’s still something that we can be proud of.

We just couldn’t sustain the level of performances, and the standard we’d set for ourselves.

At times we’ve let ourselves down, the manager, the staff, and the fans down.

But our season did have moments of real excitement.

AC: We’ve also been unlucky at times this season.

A lot of games I think we should have won, and we’ve ended up coming out with a loss or a draw – like a couple of weeks ago against Stoke and we were undone in the last minute – we’ve had a few games this season where we didn’t quite get what I feel we deserved.

JT: It’s disappointing when you think back to some of the points we’ve dropped and where we could be, we could be looking at a European spot.

But all in all it has been a good year. We certainly didn’t want to be in a relegation dog fight and we’ve been nowhere near that.

AC: When you think, three years ago we were in the Championship. If you were to say then that in three year’s time you’d be top 10 in the Premier League, you’d have taken that straight away.

If we do finish in the top 10 this year, I don’t think any of us will be disappointed with that.

 

At one point in the season West Ham were being talked about as genuine contenders for the top 4 – although that hasn’t quite materialised, does it give you a benchmark for next year?

JT: Yes definitely, but we’ll need to learn from this season and find more consistency next time round if we are to do that. We know that we can do it against the top teams, we’ve shown that this season.

It’s hard to come to Upton Park and beat us. We’ve got the confidence that we can challenge at the top.

What are your most memorable moments from the season (thus far)?

JT: For me, Liverpool at home was a great night. We beat them 3-1, and they went on a bad run after that. I think we put a big dent in their title hopes early on that night. The Man City game [2-1 at Upton Park] was a great one too, I wasn’t involved in that one, but I’m sure if you asked Diafra he’d say that was his favourite!

AC: I would go along with those too.

Any favourite goal for you personally, Andy?

AC: My goal against Swansea. That was half decent!

What about the team overall – best goal of the season?

JT: AC’s was great but I would probably say Cress [Aaron Cresswell] – the free kick against Stoke.

AC: I’d go for Enner’s [Valencia] against Hull.

And on the other side – who would rate as the best player you’ve played against this season?

JT: Hazard.

AC: No one has really stuck out in particular for me, to be honest.

Manager of the year. Who would you give it to? (Other than Big Sam…)

AC: It’s got to be Jose Mourinho. He’s won the league, and it doesn’t matter how he’s done it, he’s done it. [Nigel] Pearson has a shout though, if he can keep Leicester up.

And finally: who’s going to win – Mayweather or Pacquiao?

AC: Pac Man! I think he will you know. Well, I want him that much to win!

JT: I can’t see it. It’s going to be Mayweather on points, isn’t it?

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