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Match preview: West Ham v Crewe

Filed: Wednesday, 17th March 2004
By: Graeme Howlett

West Ham go into tonight's vital First Division match without several key players, following a spate of recent injuries.

Definitely ruled out are Hayden Mullins (back injury), Matthew Etherington (bruised knee), David Connolly (thigh strain) and Anton Ferdinand, which is likely to mean recalls for the likes of Kevin Horlock and Andy Melville.

Meanwhile, Crewe go into the game with no fresh injury worries following their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of WBA on Saturday; boss Dario Grady looks set to name an unchanged side as the relegation-threatened Railwaymen seek to improve on their record of just one win from their last eight games.

Adie Moses and Chris McCready are both available for selection once again following recent injuries but look likely to miss out on a starting berth. Dave Brammer (pelvis), David Wright (thigh), Luke Varney (shoulder) and Allan Smart (knee) remain out of contention.

West Ham United (from): Bywater, Srincek, Melville, Dailly, Repka, Ferdinand, Quinn, Harley, Carrick, Reo-Coker, Horlock, McAnuff, Nowland Carole, Deane, Zamora, Harewood, Cohen, Forde.

Crewe (from): Ince, Jones, Walker, Foster, Vaughan, Lunt, Sorvel, Cochrane, Hignett, Ashton, Jones, Tomlinson, Tonkin, Edwards, Robinson, Higdon, Rix, McCready, Moses.

How They See It

Kevin Horlock (West Ham)

"We are blowing a bit hot and cold at the minute. We are trying to be consistent and we have a real big chance to win our home game tonight with the crowd behind us.

"People are dropping points elsewhere so we have to keep going and see where it takes us."

Alan Pardew (West Ham)

"This Crewe side will have a couple of players with Premiership potential in the team because they always bring them on. It will be a harder task than Wimbledon and we will have to make sure we play well.

"They are a good footballing side and it will be a game of strategy, to some extent."

Nigel Reo-Coker (West Ham)

"It is about bouncing back and getting three points against Crewe; we know ourselves we were below par on Saturday so there is no point dwelling on it. It has happened now and it is the past - we have to look to the future.

"The pressure is always on this league, and there are loads of good teams in it. We just have to make sure we are one of the best in it. Football is a funny old game and the things that happen never cease to surprise me. We still see ourselves as favourites to go up this year - and we still believe in ourselves."

Justin Cochrane (Crewe)

"Whoever we face in this division is difficult and West Ham have some very experienced and talented players, but that is why we want to be playing at this level. We have to remain positive and we have already shown at West Brom and Wigan that we are capable of picking up some points against the top sides away from home, so we can go there with confidence.

"We're six points away from safety now but you always have to look over your shoulder at the teams below you. Hopefully we can get another three points at West Ham - although it is going to be difficult."

Dario Grady (Crewe)

"I still believe that we deserved a point on Saturday; I'm even more convinced that we were worth a point after seeing it again on the video. But that game has gone and now we have to focus on another difficult test at West Ham.

"I expect West Ham to go up this season because they have some very good players and are best equipped to cope with a return to the Premier League. Alan Pardew has gone into the club and slowly but surely he has imposed himself. He may have gone in there and hit a few obstacles but he has changed things around and it looks as though he is getting the right blend.

"He has added some extra steel into the side and that means that West Ham do not have as many flair players as they used to have, but that is expected because their aim is to get out of this Division as soon as possible. They pressurize up the field a lot more and work very hard as a team, but we will go there and look to get something out of the game. We will attack as much as we can and our recent results at Derby and Wigan will give us more confidence."

Last Meeting

16th September 2003 (Gresty Road): Crewe 0 West Ham United 3 (Connolly 2, Etherington)




Keep up to date with all the latest action from tonight's game right here on KUMB with live updates throughout the evening. You can also chat with fellow supporters via our Chat Room or Paltalk channel, whilst our Forum match thread will also bring you all the latest news.

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