Sport Soccer

Wednesday 22 November 2017

McCarthy piles pressure on rival Zola

Paul Newman

West Ham have not lost at home to Wolves in the league since John Lyall and Sammy Chung were their respective managers, but, as the clubs prepare to meet at Upton Park tonight, there is little doubt which of the strugglers needs the win more.

Both have only eight matches left and both are uncomfortably close to the Premier League relegation zone. On paper at least, this is West Ham's best chance between now and the end of the season of taking three points from a fixture.

As he looked ahead to the match, Mick McCarthy was more than happy to turn up the heat on counterpart Gianfranco Zola.

"In this fixture the pressure is on them," McCarthy said. "If we win this it will put a real dent in West Ham and it would certainly put some real daylight between us and Burnley and Hull.

"What would it do to us psychologically? What would it do to the rest of them psychologically? If we don't lose it would be a hell of a result for us. It is a huge game, but more so for West Ham."

Zola says the clash as "massive", but insists it will decide nothing. "I want to underline the importance of Wolves, but it is not the last game of the season," he said.

West Ham have been suffering with injuries, but Zola should be able to field a stronger team. Scott Parker is due back after a leg injury, Carlton Cole is likely to start while Herita Ilunga and Mark Noble are pressing for places. Wolves are set to be unchanged. (© Independent News Service)

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Irish Independent

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