Winterburn warning to Hammers

BY foxsports • April 19, 2011

Winterburn played almost 100 games for West Ham after leaving Arsenal in 2000 and the 47-year-old retains fond memories from his time at Upton Park. However, Winterburn's final season as a professional, in 2002/03, saw the Iron relegated from the Premier League so he knows only too well what the current squad is going through. He told TEAMtalk: "One of my big disappointments was being relegated in my last season. "It still hurts to be associated with a team that was relegated so I know what they're going through. "I can comfortably say that the team I played with was much better than this team but it still went down so to say you're too good to go down, I'll never believe that again. "The team I played with was amazing but once you lose confidence and believe it doesn't matter who you are, you just don't pick up points and don't win games. "West Ham are in a real predicament at the moment and it's going to be difficult (to get out of) because their next few games are horrendous." West Ham travel to Chelsea and Manchester City in the next two weeks but finish with home games against Blackburn and Sunderland, with a trip to Wigan sandwiched between them. Those three games are likely to decide the Hammers' fate but Winterburn reckons it will be their poor start to the season Avram Grant will look back at if the East Londoners are relegated. "Such a poor start to the season has made it hard," Winterburn said. "Obviously the players are giving it their all but, no matter how well they play, they seem to get out of the bottom three for a week and then find themselves back in it because the teams around them win. "I certainly hope they can stay up but there are lot of teams around them that also believe they can get enough points. It could come down to the last three games." If West Ham ultimately are relegated, Winterburn has warned they may be forced into selling their prized assets on the cheap. "There'll be one or two (players) that will stay loyal because they'll feel guilty that they've been part of a team that wasn't good enough to stay up. "But certain players will want to move on because they want to play at the top level and West Ham have got a few loans too and those players will soon be off if they are relegated. "For the vast majority, clubs will come sniffing and be able to take those players away for a transfer fee under its true value." Nigel Winterburn is an ambassador for grassroots youth football competition the Tesco Cup, for more information go to www.tesco.com/football


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