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Newcastle United v West Ham United – Premier League – St James Park – Saturday 12:30pm – Preview
Brian Dear’s nerves are shot to bits, but he’s thoroughly enjoying West Ham United’s crusade towards a European berth next season.
For the third game running, West Ham gave their supporters a white-knuckle ride, this time almost allowing Leicester City back into the game after once again, establishing a three-goal lead.
But despite their second-half jitters, the Hammers have picked up seven points from a possible nine against Arsenal, Wolves and Leicester – a decent return from a tough run of fixtures.
“Before the three matches, if someone had offered me seven points I would have snapped their hand off,” Dear told Yellow Sport.
“Of course, I’d rather we didn’t put ourselves through it after building up a 3-0 lead. I’m sure it is very exciting for the neutral and let’s be honest, the football we have played during the early stages of those matches has been terrific. But we do need to work on our game management because eventually, your luck runs out.”
Dear is expecting another difficult test at struggling Newcastle United on Saturday, but ultimately expects David Moyes’ side to take all three points and continue their quest for a top-four finish; “Newcastle are fighting for their lives,” Dear added.
“I think they will be ok, but two more wins will probably be enough for them.
“But it is another match we must target. If you have aspirations of finishing in the top four you have to be beating the teams towards the bottom, home and away.
“I think we have the quality, even without Declan Rice and Michail Antonio. That was evident against Leicester. We have played the first stages of those last three games with confidence and without pressure. It’s now all about sustaining that for the ninety-plus minutes and not allowing the opposition a sniff.
“No doubt, that has been talked about at the training ground this week. The players would have been told in no uncertain terms. But the fact is, we are picking up results, we are winning football matches and another three points at St James Park will take us a step closer to achieving something we never thought possible before a ball was kicked this season.”
Brian Dear’s prediction: Newcastle United 0-2 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Newcastle United 1-2 West Ham United