Tony: We Must Win

Tony Gale believes that defeat at the Hawthorns on Sunday would be unthinkable - and insists the Hammers can make up the gap on Bolton Wanderers.

West Brom are looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat by another of Tony's old clubs - Fulham, and he says: "If they beat us they would go four points clear and, you maybe could say, 'that's it' - sad as that would be.

"You wouldn't have thought you would get to this stage of the season saying it is a 'must win' game, but that is what it has come to.

"But we are well capable of going there and getting a victory, we just have to go and do it - and how many times have we said that?

"With the number of chances other sides have given them, we have to start taking them now - or we will be gone."

Bolton, at fourth bottom, are five points clear of the Hammers with a superior goal difference, but Tony adds: "If you look at it logically, Bolton have got Manchester United to play at home, Arsenal to play at home, and Chelsea to play away.

"I think that is going to be no points from three games, and a great chance to make up five points - and then the deficit is caught up.

"But of course it doesn't matter if they get no points and we don't get any along the way, because then we will be gone in any case.

"It is just getting our own game right, getting the wins, and if we do that there will be a few twitchy people."

With Fredi Kanoute suspended - as is Joe Cole - Tony adds: "Selection is a problem for Glenn - does he go for Les and Paolo or Paolo and Jermain?

"It is one he has to ponder before he goes into the game against a side that has been playing 3-5-2 all season.

"They don't score many goals and don't take their chances, though their effort, commitment, and desire is not found wanting at all.

"But they do have a lack of quality, and we have to make that pay with the quality we think we have got - which we know we have got - and match that desire.

"If we do that, we will win the game, but it is going to be a big danger at set pieces; they are quite a big side and good at set plays, and the way we have been defending them lately that is going to be a crucial feature of the game."

Tony remains optimistic, and adds: "It is the beginning of the survival run I hope and I will be at the game cheering them on. It is a big 11 games to come, massive for the future of the club, and hopefully everybody realises that.

"It is not just about individual contracts and wages, things like that, but the whole future of the club is at stake - because if West Ham do go down they will no doubt have to do a lot of pruning.

"That normally means behind the scenes, and there will be a lot of good people that lose their jobs amongst the employees. I don't mean management or coaching, but the excellent staff down there.

"It goes with the territory of going down to the Nationwide, and that will be sad.

"The boys are playing for everyone's livelihoods and good luck to them in the next 11 games; let's all get cheering them on."