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2013-02-28T11:14:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:12:29

Macca on: Stoke City

Neil McDonald believes West Ham United can solve their Barclays Premier League away-day woes if they are able to replicate their showing on Monday against Tottenham Hotspur, as they head to the Britannia Stadium.

The Hammers are set for the Potteries to take on Stoke City having earned just a solitary point from their six previous league clashes on their travels.

But West Ham's assistant manager is confident they will buck the trend on Saturday, provided they are able to produce the goods as a defensive unit.

What's the news on Kevin Nolan?

NM: "We're still waiting for the results to come back, his toe is very, very sore. He's had problems in the past with it, all season really. And he got a real good kick on it. So I'd imagine he won't be available for Saturday and then we'll see how the results come back and see where he's at. As I said, he has had problems with his foot all season, and he has been playing through the pain barrier. It's probably worse than it has been with him having the kick right on it. Guy Demel came off but he's OK now and everybody else is fine. [McDonald later revealed that Mark Noble is a doubt with an arm injury]"

What did you make of Pogatetz's performance on Monday?

NM: "Well it's always difficult coming into an atmosphere in a game at that stage. But he has settled in OK. He has already played a game. He was against a good player in Aaron Lennon. He had a few problems, he didn't stop enough crosses to be fair. But it's always difficult for the last 20 minutes coming into a game."

Six points off the relegation places, are you concerned?

NM: "Of course we are. We've always looked up the table this season and we've always tried to get into the top ten and with a good result on Saturday we can push ourselves a little bit closer to that.

"I think the away form hasn't been as good as we'd have liked. I think our home form has been really, really good, even though we've lost a couple. We have to address that, we've got to be a little tighter and a bit more physical away from home and make sure we try and keep a clean sheet. And if we can do that, that gives us a good chance to get back to winning ways on our travels."

What sort of challenge do Stoke present?

NM: "Well I think they're very well organised. They're quite direct with the way they play, into the forwards, and then knocking it down and getting it wide. So we'll have to deal with crosses, and with knockdowns as well. So it's a stern test but in our game plan, hopefully we can give them a bit of a test as well. We're trying to put right what we haven't done over the last four or five away games."

Stoke haven't been on the best run of form either, I think it's one win in five, do you take something positive from that?

NM: "You always have to take something positive. Apart from Gareth Bale scoring two brilliant goals, we've acquitted ourselves really well against a top-four team [on Monday], and if we do that away from home we've got every chance of getting a result."

What's the situation with Ricardo Gardner?

NM: "Ricardo has just been in for a few weeks trying to get his fitness back and we've helped him out with a couple of games as well. We've got no space in our 25-man squad, so there's nothing doing. We had a great relationship with him at Bolton and he asked to come in and do a bit of training to top his fitness up, and that's what he has done. So he's ready and raring to go if somebody needs a left-back, stroke left-midfielder."

West Bromwich Albion

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