Les: Stay Calm

Les Ferdinand says it is a battle of wits from now on as the season reaches its climax - and the big game with Bolton Wanderers looms large.

Trotters boss Sam Allardyce reckons his side has the advantage because they were in a similar situation last season and faced a 'must win' game against then-rivals Ipswich Town - which they won 4-1 - but Les feels that his team mates can win the psychological battle if they stay focused.

"If we can keep our heads then with what we have got in our dressing room we will be able to get out of this situation," he stresses.

"It may be nerve-wracking but it is the team that holds their nerve that will get out of this situation.

"I think it was more desperation than nervous on Saturday. The players so much want to stay in this division and do it for the supporters and the club, and themselves.

"The tension comes in a little bit but it is important we keep our cool and there are still 15 points to play for."

Saturday's result helped the Hammers gain a point on Bolton at the weekend, but Les says candidly: "It was disappointing; we took the lead after starting pretty well and then gave the penalty away which changed the game a little bit.

"They got their second goal and it was an uphill battle from there - but we showed good character.

"Everyone wants to get on and play and be part of this but we really need results now, and that is the most important thing."

Les might have covered himself in glory had he scored - and on one occasion he was screaming at Glen Johnson to set him up when the youngster burst through to have a shot magnificently saved by Peter Enckelman.

"Afterwards he said he didn't even see me until he had shot and he thought he could score," says Les.

"You don't have a go at someone for making an attempt at goal but at the same time if he had squared it, it was an easy tap-in for me - but we are still speaking!"