May 2, 2012 by FKB - GFC
At the end of the West Ham Player Awards, on Monday evening, David Gold led a rallying cry to the side stating his expectations in the playoffs, and they were pretty straight forward. He fully expects us to go up as the side in the playoffs with the best squad, manager and fans. Well we will wait and see, because as we know from this season reputations mean nothing.
A lot of the matches in the Championship are decided by which side wants it more. Cardiff are a tough side but I do feel we have more about us. The fixture away from home in the regular season finished with us victorious in a rather convincing 2-0 win. That result must give Allardyce and the team a massive confidence boost going into the match, but we must not underestimate their threat. They did cause us problems on the first game of the season at Upton Park with Rudy Gestede, a rather average player, causing us serious problems at the back. Of course everything they do comes through Whittingham and as we did against them earlier in the season we must contain him. You stop Whittingham, you stop Cardiff.
One positive for us is, particularly at the Cardiff City stadium, Mackay’s men play right into our hands. They try and commit bodies forward, whenever possible and could, like previously, leave big gaps on the break.
After a great display against Hull I hope that Cole continues upfront, he caused Hull problems all game long and is quite clearly a confidence player. When he scores everything from that moment on seems to go right for him.
I think the team seems to finally understand how to play and we must accept that certain situations need a long ball while we still need to maintain possession for large chunks of the 90 minutes.
The additions of O’Niel and Lansbury have seen the rise in our recent form, not only results but performance-wise also. We control the game and the tempo with them on the ball and create even more going forward.
I do expect a tough game on Thursday night but i do believe we might just sneak it.
Prediction: I think that Cardiff are decent but we should have enough going forward… 2-1