West Ham star says Newcastle United will be tougher opponents than Chelsea
West Ham have finally got some breathing space but are still potentially only one match away from being in the relegation zone.
Heading into this week, David Moyes and his team were outside the bottom three only on goal difference.
Only one win since New Year’s day, having lost eight of their last 11 PL games, with two draws.
Newcastle had a big 4-1 win at Bournemouth on Wednesday but the 3-2 victory for West Ham was massive.
Not only did it take them three points clear of the drop but the fact it was against local rivals and top four side Chelsea, should be massive for morale.
However, West Ham star Angelo Ogbonna believes that facing Newcastle will be even ‘tougher’ on Sunday.
The former Juventus central defender and Italian international made his first start in four months on Wednesday but is wary of facing former teammate Andy Carroll and the rest of the NUFC side.
Ogbonna was an unused sub when West Ham gave a shambolic display that Newcastle took full advantage of earlier in the season, the Magpies racing into a 3-0 lead before trying to gift a point when the Hammers were allowed two late goals as NUFC went ever deeper.
On Sunday, Newcastle could sneak into the top half of the table with a win and all other results going for them BUT for West Ham a victory could allow them another couple of fingers gripping on to safety.
Angelo Ogbonna speaking to West Ham TV:
“It is not just Andy Carroll [we have to worry about on Sunday].
“It will be tough.
“We are playing away at Newcastle and it will be totally tough.
“I think it will be tougher than Wednesday’s game [3-2 win over Chelsea].
“We need to focus and recover as quick as we can.
“We need to perform.”
“What a game, I think we started really well.
“It’s not easy to get back and play after three months. We needed a little bit of luck and, against Chelsea, we had it.
“In this moment, we need to win the games and stay together and stay up. More than winning the games, we need to perform. When we perform like we did against Chelsea, we get results.
“Some parts, we played really well and some, not. But it’s not easy to play every three days. We had the chance to prepare for the game against Chelsea for a week and I think it was really good. It was a good three points.
“I think the team played really well. We prepared really well for this game and we really wanted to win this game. I want to talk about everyone – even the boys than came on from the bench. Yarmo scored and Jack Wilshere did really well.
“Manuel Lanzini hasn’t played for a long time and it wasn’t easy for him, but he did well. Pablo Fornals too! It’s difficult to pick any player from this game and say something wrong about the performance.”
“I couldn’t wait to get back! I’ve been unlucky I think, since we restarted. It’s not easy for players like myself or Issa Diop to be out for three months without getting treatment or things like this. We are tall and running on the streets, which is hard, and you get injuries, which is unlucky.”
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