Brian Dear: We have to be better

West Ham United v Watford – Premier League – London Stadium – Tuesday (7:45pm) – Preview

Brian Dear provided a mixture of relief and concern after West ham United had played their ‘get out of jail free’ card against Kidderminster Harriers in a pulsating Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Aggborough.

The Hammers have been unconvincing in recent weeks, and despite David Moyes making eight changes to the side that had started at Manchester United, the Hammers still fielded a line-up more than capable of putting away their non-league opponents with some to spare.

But Kiddy more than matched their Premier League visitors, taking the lead through Alex Penny midway through the opening period, only to be denied a famous victory by a stoppage-time equaliser from Declan Rice, coupled with Jarrod Bowen’s winner late in extra-time.

“A credit to Kidderminster, they were terrific,” Dear told Yellow Sport.

(Picture courtesy of Brian Dear)

“But in saying that, we had enough out there to do the job properly. Kidderminster was the better side for long periods of the game. My biggest problem is that they out-fought us. It simply wasn’t good enough.

“For me, it highlighted that our fringe players are some way off the pace and the squad needs freshening. We will run into injuries and suspensions. These boys will be called upon again. More of the same and we will find it increasingly difficult to secure a top-six finish again.”

West Ham return to Premier League action against Watford at teh London Stadium on Tuesday evening: “No doubt, the line-up will change again, but we looked tired against Leeds and Manchester United,” Dear added.

“Hopefully, the rest has done some of the boys good and we can get back to where we were. Nobody wants to see the season go up in smoke after such a promising start.

“Of course, we mustn’t underestimate Watford. Roy Hodgson will make them harder to break down. But they are in trouble and need to win the game too. Player-for player, West Ham have the greater quality, but mindset and fatigue concern me. I just hope we have enough in the tank.”

Rice salvaged the situation for West Ham at Kidderminster: “It was an explosive finish from the best player on the pitch,” Dear explained.

“We shouldn’t have needed to call upon him. I worry that he might be tempted away from West Ham. But it has to be said, his commitment and quality is extraordinary.

“He, along with the manager, will make demands of the squad. Collectively, we need to follow his lead, get a win under our belts and focus on what is going to be a difficult run-in towards the end of the season.”

Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 3-1 Watford
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 1-0 Watford


Brian Jeeves