May 26 2013 Latest news:
Nathaniel John, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, May 17, 2012
West Ham midfielder treating the game like any other league fixture
West Ham midfielder Matt Taylor admits that he hasn’t given the slightest bit of thought to losing against Blackpool at Wembley on Saturday.
The Hammers take on the Seasiders in the Championship Play-Off final with the winner earning promotion to the Premier League, but Taylor is not feeling the pressure and is keen to treat the game like any other fixture.
“We all know the importance of the game but you can’t put too much emphasis on the game itself,” he said.
“We just have to play the game and not the atmosphere.
“It is going to be a wonderful day for the club but we have to make sure that as players we don’t get overawed and caught up in the atmosphere.
“It will be one of the biggest games of my career but in terms of the team we will be keeping low key.
“Everybody is going to be nervous when we step out there, it’s arguably the biggest game of football in terms of money.
“We all know what is at stake, we all know we want to get back to the Premier League, but Blackpool are going to be thinking and wanting to do exactly the same thing.”
And despite West Ham being made heavy favourites, Taylor is only focusing on the game itself and not the hype surrounding the final.
“There is no more pressure than what I would suggest Blackpool have on them to get promoted and back to the Premier League,” he said.
“We are both in the same position in terms of both teams got relegated last season and both teams would like to bounce back at the first opportunity and one of us is going to do so and hopefully it will be us.
“It will be a wonderful day but it will only be a good day if we win.
“I haven’t thought about losing as of yet, because that would be a pretty defeatist attitude if we were to think that.
“Obviously it’s a great occasion for the club and for the players and fans but we want to win the football match.
“Blackpool are a good football team and they are there on merit, so it is going to be a very tough afternoon.”
The Hammers have tasted defeat in just one of their last 20 games – a home defeat to league champions Reading – and Taylor believes the confidence gained from that run will stand West Ham in good stead come Saturday.
“I think everybody is in good confidence because winning football matches breeds confidence and that’s what we’ve done,” he said.
“We’ve scored goals and we are in decent form and the boys are in good spirits.
“We all know that it is a one-off and a cup final, and we are 90 minutes from where we want to be.”
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