Kevin: The Heat Is On

Kevin Horlock says the expectancy level at Upton Park reminds him of when he was at Manchester City during a turbulent period in their history.

This time five years ago West Ham were sixth in the Premiership with Wimbledon lying eighth - how times have changed.

"Obviously our fans expect us to be up there and favourites to go up and I have been in this situation before with Manchester City, similar supporters who demand the very best," he says.

"All I can say is that the players are going to be working very hard to produce and the fans need to be patient, hang in there with us, and we will try to give them what they want at the end of the season.

"Perhaps the expectancy makes it harder; everyone wants to get one over on you and everyone looks for you to fall flat on your face.

"It was the same at City but we have a good set of characters here and hopefully we will prove that over the rest of the season.

"We have good players all over the place but it is a matter of putting in good performances; we didn't do terribly on Saturday although the crowd went home disappointed - but it is another point towards the tally we need for promotion.

"It is important that we all stick together now; we are under presure now at Wimbledon but I am sure we can deliver."

Kevin returned to action on Saturday after injury and adds:

"I trained all last week pretty well and there were no problems with the knee so I am pleased about that as it was quite heavy on the legs."

As for the game overall, he says:

"We were looking for a win; we battled hard in what was obviously difficult conditions for both teams and we have to take a point and on to Wimbledon.

"It was a big blow for us not having Mattie - we missed his width probably because the ball went down the middle where it was boggiest.

"We felt quite comfortable in the first half on Saturday and passed it about really well but for some reason we seemed to drop deeper in the second half, I'm not sure why.

"They tended to have a lot more of the ball and sometimes it is like that; you have to remember we were away against a team that are going pretty well themselves.

"Maybe come the end of the season it might be a good point against a team that are on the crest of a wave at the moment who are picking up good results."

The key, says Kevin, is to get out of the drawing habit - with all of the games since Alan Pardew took charge, bar West Brom being draws, a sequence that followed on from several 'one pointers' under Trevor Brooking - and he adds:

"You are better off winning one and losing two - if you keep drawing a gap starts to appear but the results have been pretty kind on us in the last few weeks and were pretty kind on Saturday.

"It is just important to start winning quickly and keeping a clean sheet as we did on Saturday was important as that gives you a good chance in any game.

"We know we are going to score goals with the players we have got and we can turn those draws into wins - but the quicker the better.

"We have got to win at Wimbledon and we know the pressure is on; people will be turning up expecting nothing less than a win and we have to be fully focused on that."