LONDON: West Ham boss Glenn Roeder believes a dramatic FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest can be the spark that ignites the Hammers season.
Sparkling performance from young stars Jermaine Defoe, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick helped the Hammers to their first win of the season at Upton Park.
The Premier League's bottom club had to come from behind twice, Forest missed a penalty at 2-2 and Defoe’s match-winning goal was helped into the net by a deflection.
But Roeder, who could have been facing the sack had West Ham lost, was understandably upbeat about the outcome.
“We’ll use this result in a positive way,” he insisted.
“We’re not hiding. We showed great team spirit to come from behind twice. And for once we’ve had the rub of the green.
“We’ve got a hell of a job on our hands but I am confident we can get enough points at Upton Park to get away from trouble.”
Defoe’s strike was his second of the afternoon and Cole also got on the scoresheet. But it was Carrick that Roeder singled out for praise.
“I’ll go to war with those three players any day of the week,” he said.
“Cole and Defoe will get the headlines and rightly so but don’t underestimate the contribution of Carrick. Today he looked a top class footballer.”
England goalkeeper David James looked anything but international class as he fumbled the ball to gift Forest the lead through Marlon Harewood – his second error in as many weeks having let a Damien Duff shot through his legs in the Premiership clash with Blackburn Rovers.
But Roeder backed him to bounce back.
“He’ll come through, I’m sure he will.”
Forest manager Paul Hart added his voice to those who believe West Ham have too much quality not to be in the top flight.
“This West Ham side is in a position that belies their talent,” he said. “They have got some very good players but my lads gave a very good account of themselves.” – AFP