Hull City-West Ham United Preview
After watching his side suffer three straight league defeats, West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce is anxious for his side to start picking up points again starting with Wednesday’s home match against Hull City.
West Ham (8-7-15) won all four of their Premier League matches in February to pull clear of the relegation places, but the Hammers have drawn a blank this month and dropped down to 14th place, just six points above the drop zone.
The Hammers lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United last Saturday with Wayne Rooney scoring twice for the Red Devils. The England striker’s first goal was a sensational lob from close to the half-way line. West Ham also lost 1-0 at Everton and 3-1 at Stoke in what has so far been a cruel March for the east London club.
Allardyce admits the match against Hull and next Monday’s trip to Sunderland are both crucial fixtures for the Hammers.
"We’ve put ourselves in a little danger, there’s no doubt about that," Allardyce said after the United defeat. "On the two games we’ve got coming up we’ve got to make sure we perform like we did when we got our good spell.
"We’re not out in the clear yet. Even when we won four games on the trot, there was still that possibility we weren’t out of the woods yet. We’re on 31 points, and that won’t be enough to keep us up. People are telling us that we are safe now, but I keep telling them that we’re not. We’ve got to get to at least 38 points as quickly as we can, and that will be enough."
Hull (9-6-15) climbed above West Ham to 12th after beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at home on Saturday with goals from Liam Rosenior and Shane Long. It was the Tigers’ ninth Premier League win and lifted them eight points clear of the bottom three.
Manager Steve Bruce insists there is still more work to be done to safeguard Hull’s future in the Premier League.
"I’ve said all along that I thought 10 wins would be enough," Bruce told his club’s official website. "Whatever it takes, we have to see it through but if we can get to 10 wins with seven or eight games to play it means other teams have got to maybe win four and draw a couple which is very difficult.
"We’ve still got a bit to do and we won’t be taking anything for granted. We’re a newly promoted club and history tells you that the odds were stacked against us. But we can see the improvement in the team after one season in this division, so we’ve got to make sure we’re here for two, three, four, five years."
West Ham are again missing Joey O’Brien (shoulder) and Marco Borriello (calf), while Hull will be without the suspended George Boyd.
Robbie Brady converted a 12th-minute penalty to earn Hull a 1-0 victory against West Ham at the KC Stadium on Oct. 28 in this season’s reverse fixture.