Dear looking forward to Saints challenge

Southampton v West Ham United – Emirates FA Cup fifth-round – St Mary’s Stadium – Wednesday (7:30pm) – Preview

Brian Dear was far happier with what he saw from West Ham United against Wolverhampton Wanderers but insisted they will face a tough task when heading to Southampton for an Emirates FA Cup fifth-round tie on Wednesday evening.

The Hammers edged out the Black County outfit by a Tomas Soucek goal to nil at the London Stadium. However, the performance was a little more convincing than the scoreline suggested.

“Apart from the last ten minutes when Wolves put us under pressure, I thought we were quite comfortable and much better than in recent weeks,” Dear told Yellow Sport.

Picture courtesy of Brian Dear

“The three points were crucial. I think fourth place in the Premier League is beyond us, but the top six isn’t. We need to rediscover the consistency shown at the start of the season. This was a step in the right direction.

“I thought Lukasz Fabianski, Kurt Zouma and Craig Dawson were exceptional. We didn’t give much away. The ruthless side is still missing a little bit. But it was great to see Tomas back amongst the goals and the assist from Michail Antonio will do him good during what has been a difficult period for him.”

West Ham now turn their attention to the cup: “Realistically, this is our best chance of a trophy,” Dear added.

“I don’t think there is an awful lot between us and Southampton at the moment and it will be particularly tough at their place.

“They have put together a decent run in the league, but like us will see the cup as an opportunity. They have goals in the side. Che Adams, Armando Broja, Mohamed Elyounoussi and James Ward-Prowse. The latter would be a great addition to any side with his creativity and passing ability.

“But I think we can match them. I’d be happier if we were at home, but then again, the Saints won at the London Stadium in the league over Christmas. We had a bit more energy about us on Sunday. It might go all the way, but I’m backing us to progress. Just!”

Brian Dear’s prediction: Southampton 1-1 West Ham United (West Ham on penalties)
Jeevesie’s prediction: Southampton 1-2 West Ham United

Brian Jeeves

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