Connors Backs Marlon

David Connolly is backing Marlon Harewood to be top scorer in the first division at the end of the campaign - even if he doesn't take the penalties!

When West Ham were awarded a spot kick against Coventry on Saturday, Marlon looked to be in the frame for taking it as he chases top scoring spot in the division.

He is currently on 22 league goals, level with Andy Johnson of Crystal Palace and a goal ahead of Robert Earnshaw of Cardiff, although in terms of overall goals Earnshaw and Johnson, with 31 and 26 respectively, are ahead of Marlon's grand total of 23.

Ten of his goals, in the league, have helped West Ham following his move from Nottingham Forest, and he has also scored one in the FA cup.

Marlon is obviously keen to add to that tally to push West Ham into the playoffs.

"I am on penalties; I think Marlon wanted it to get the goal as he has the chance of being top scorer in the league - but I am sure he will get that," says David.

"The team is more important than that and he knows it - if anyone else gets any individual recognition then all well and good.

"I hope Marlon does get top scorer in the league, but I am on penalties for the team and it was the right thing to do.

"Marlon was very complementary and as long as we score that is all that matters; we shouldn't deviate from our tactics and who is on what - that is how it is.

"He was the first to shake my hand when I scored and I am sure he will be the 'golden boot' winner with or without that penalty."

David is insistent that West Ham can get promotion and adds:

"We are still in there with a shout and there are obviously teams who are in there with games in hand and teams who are not in the playoff positions who are good as well so we still have it all to do - but we have given ourselves a good opportunity."

David is pleased that the players coped with the expectancy of the home crowd on Saturday and adds:

"The pressure was on us to win and we did; it was a nerve-racking day and there was a lot of tension in the stadium.

"But we got the three points and we can kick on to next weekend now.

"It was a hot afternoon and there can't be any quarter given at this stage of the season so it was a good effort by all the lads.

"It was another clean sheet and the lads at the back did ever so well; the goalkeeper, and the rest of the players also performed against a Coventry side that popped the ball around quite well.

"It was hard work and they weren't really playing for anything so they had that bit of freedom and were playing without pressure."