Nigel: Let's Get Going

  • 6/1 on a 1-0 win over Leeds -
    Click here for full odds with Sky Bet

Nigel Winterburn says that it will be vital to score the first goal against Leeds on Sunday - notwithstanding the fact that West Ham have scored only one home goal since August.

"When you play at home it is always important to take the lead because if you go a goal down the team you are playing can sit back and counter attack you," he says.

"When they do that and they have got eight or nine players behind the ball it doesn't matter who it is - that team will be very hard to break down.

"But if you go a goal in front at some stage the opposition will have to come out to try and get that goal back - and when they do you can do the opposite to them, counter attack yourselves, and look for a second."

Nigel came on with Sebastien Schemmel in the second half against Oldham, as West Ham reverted to a back four to try and get in the game.

"I think at this stage you try anything to break the run at home," says Nigel.

"Seb and myself came on when it was one down and tried to help, going back to a back four, the team push forward; we pinned them in a little bit, created a few chances, but again it wouldn't go in the net for us.

"We have to get back to the performances of last season, go at teams, and play with no fear.

"To be honest, it can't be any worse than it is at the moment so we might as well go for it."

Nigel admits that he does not enjoy sitting on the sidelines, and adds:

"It has been very frustrating not playing, but also I think it has been very frustrating for those who have been playing - and the fans.

"The away performances have been great but we can't get the win at home.

"I think the players are trying to work hard and put in the effort, but we just can't get the lead whereas last year when we did so well at home that's what we were doing.

"And we are giving away goals which means that we then have to break teams down, which is very difficult.

"We haven't had Fredi in the team for a while either, and Paolo has missed a few games - with a very small squad we need everyone available at a tough time."

* Grant McCann has been denied permission by West Ham to play for Cheltenham in the FA Cup a week on Saturday.

Grant is currently in the second month of a second loan spell there.