Downes backs strikers to help push West Ham away from danger

“We are a mid-table side on current form at the moment and that is where we will finish up,”

WEST HAM defensive coach Wally Downes is adamant the Hammers will finish up in mid-table.

The Hammers are currently second-bottom of the Premier League two points off safety, but with six clubs within five points of the east Londoners and 11 games remaining the fight to stay up is very much on.

West Ham are still to face Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Spurs as well as Chelsea and five points from a possible 12 against sides in the bottom half of the table shows how erratic West Ham have been of late. Their inconsistency however has not stopped Downes talking up his side’s chances.

“We are a mid-table side on current form at the moment and that is where we will finish up,” he said confidently.

“We just have to keep that belief and commitment and as long as we have got those fans shouting for us, I’m sure we will be fine.”

Downes is also relying on the attacking talent at the club to help push them up the table and was delighted with what he saw from the forwards in last weekend’s 3-3 draw with West Brom at the Hawthorns.

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Demba Ba scored twice, while Carlton Cole was also as the Hammers fought back from three goals down at half-time to claim a draw in a game where both defences were found wanting.

“If you look at the three we had out there. We had Cole, Freddie (Piquionne) and Demba, there are goals there,” Downes said before insisting their defensive record will improve once injured players return to the fold.

“The more games Manuel (Da Costa) plays, when (James) Tomkins gets fit, (Matthew) Upson (we’ll be okay).

“We were more dangerous in the second half. We made them defend and in the first half I don’t think we made them defend enough.

“When we applied pressure on them in the second half, they were founding wanting defensively.

“It was a terrific effort to drag themselves up, because they knew they had let themselves down and hadn’t played well enough in the first half and the way we have been playing recently, picking up points, that was a disservice to them.