Connors: Mind Over Matter

David Connolly says that West Ham have to combine raw emotion with supreme intelligence to get through the playoffs into the Premiership.

"We have to play with our hearts and our heads; it will be exciting and it is good for the fans," he says.

He has no real thoughts on the opposition being Ipswich and adds:

"No team is preferable to any other; it will be tough and we have got to win so we just have to deal with the opposition."

As far as the mental approach is concerned, he feels the players have what it takes.

"It is not a problem for us because we know what the possible reward is - hopefully we can send this club back to where it should be," he says.

One might expect, however, that training will be interesting this week with players such as David, who made a rare appearance on the bench at the weekend, trying to force their way into the starting line-up.

"It is more important that everyone stays fit and we don't want any injuries in training," he says.

"As long as it is short and sharp that will keep us in the right mode for coming into the two games.

"It was very disappointing not to have started - I have been in the side all season - but the manager picks the team, and I came off the bench and showed what I can do so there we go."

Looking at the Wigan game as a whole, he adds:

"It was a difficult kind of game because Wigan are very good side and obviously they are gutted that they are not in the playoffs.

"But we were undefeated, we made it, and we are pleased because they played very well and maybe could have had the game out of sight.

"But they only got the one which means you are always vulnerable and obviously Brian Deane came on and scored a great header."

David might have added to Wigan's woe in injury time when Marlon Harewood broke through, but he chose to shoot rather than cut it back to David, who says:

"I felt I should have got it, and then the game would have been safe, but hopefully that won't happen in the playoffs and we will make the right decisions."

While David hopes there is a repeat of the win at Portman Road earlier in the season, the aim would be not to endure a second home defeat to Ipswich of the campaign.

He feels, once more, the fans will be important, and adds:

"That whole stand was full at Wigan with nearly 8,000 fans and we didn't give them much to cheer about.

"But obviously they are delighted that we came away unbeaten, they will be loving the upcoming games, and they will have Upton Park rocking on Tuesday night."