Dear calls on Hammers to go for broke

Olympique Lyonnais v West Ham United – UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final Second-Leg – Groupama Stadium – Thursday (8pm) – Preview

Hit by injuries and suspension – The odds stacked against them – West Ham United head into their UEFA Europa League quarter-final second-leg tie with Olympique Lyonnais knowing it will take a monumental effort to progress through to the last four and another mouthwatering encounter with either Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Former Hammers frontman, Brian Dear played a pivotal role in the East Londoners’ 1965 Cup Winners Cup triumph. He has called for the current crop to go for broke in a bid to emulate that success from almost sixty years ago.

Picture courtesy of Brian Dear

“We’ve just got to throw caution to the wind and go for it,” Dear told Yellow Sport.

“Zouma and Cresswell will be a big miss, but it provides an opportunity for someone else to step up and potentially be a hero. That was how it happened for me in 1965.

“I got an opportunity to play against Sunderland and scored a couple of goals. After that, Ron Greenwood kept me in the side that went on to win the Cup Winners Cup. I hope something similar happens on Thursday night. It will be hard but we are far from out of it.”

Dear continued: “I know there was talk of injustice and a poor referee after the first game, but we have to put that out of our minds. We simply have to be better than them on the night, which we are more than capable of.

“I think the pressure has switched onto Olympic Lyonnais. They are at home. They are favourites. The expectation is on them to take the game to us.

“But if we can be disciplined and weather the early storm then I really think there is something in the game for us. We have produced some big performances under David Moyes. The players must keep their eyes on the prize. Barcelona or Eintracht in the semi-final.

“Whenever I walk past the statue at the London Stadium commemorating what we achieved all those years ago, it gives me a warm feeling. I want these boys to experience the same.

“There’s plenty of room for another statue outside the ground. Go and make history lads.”

Brian Dear’s prediction: Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 West Ham United

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]