Christian: Experience Counts

Christian Dailly reckons that the experience in the side will be of vital importance in coping with the tension of the second leg playoff tie after the atmosphere in the first game with Ipswich at Portman Road.

"When you play at West Ham you are expected to win every game and there is nothing wrong with that," he says.

"Everyone is so passionate and it has been a good experience for the young lads learning to cope with that.

"It is not like playing at other clubs where you can probably have a couple of games not playing so well and it doesn't matter too much.

"You have got to do it week in, week out here, and in training - or you won't play.

"You also have to deal with the fact that teams that come here respond to the atmosphere as well, and even the fact that they are playing West Ham - so we have to raise it even higher.

"I think we will be okay with the experience we have got in the side with Steve Lomas and Tomas Repka back, myself, Andy Melville, and Brian Deane doing well when he comes on.

"I think that all of these players can cope with it, no problem, and help the younger ones."

Tomas replaced Anton Ferdinand in the starting line-up at Ipswich on Saturday after the latter kept his place at Wigan when Tomas' three match ban had ended.

That meant Hayden Mullins moving across to left back, and Christian says:

"Anton will do really well; he is a great athlete and it has probably been a bit unfair on him in some ways because he has been thrown in at left back, playing on his weaker foot.

"People forget he is only 19 but he is big and powerful.

"His best position is probably at centre back and his long term future will be there, no doubt.

"He has done really well, but it was probably just a good time just to take him out with these big games coming up and you get some more experienced players, which is what the manager was wanting to do."

West Ham have played fifty four games this season and Christian is quick to remind you:

"I have only missed three and a half!"

But he still has the energy and enthusiasm to keep going and adds:

"Hopefully, it is not one last effort, but we will treat it like that, as you should most of your games, to be honest.

"Let's give it everything - and hopefully we can get to Cardiff."

A night time game at Upton Park was what most people wanted and Christian adds:

"It was certainly hot enough, that is for sure, but it should be a little bit cooler tonight, though judging by the weather it will probably be a bit warm again.

"There will be a great atmosphere as well, as there was on Saturday, when we were just a little disappointed not to come away with something a bit better - which I think we deserved.

"I don't think Ipswich were overly great against us; I thought it was a decent game and it probably could have gone either way.

"If we had won 1-0 I don't think anyone could have argued with that, but there are a few little things we could have done a little bit better, such as the final ball at times.

"We can pass it better; we had little spells where we passed it quite well but there were other spells when we didn't.

"We were every bit as good as Ipswich so hopefully we can just turn it up a notch - but we need to be careful.

"To be honest we are still well in it - we are certainly not out, that is for sure.

"The atmosphere is going to be great but we just hope we can ride that wave and get the result; all we have to do is concentrate on winning, nothing else.

"We know we have to win the game on the night and anything else is no use; but it is impossible to say how it will go in terms of play because you never actually know until you get out there."

How does it compare with playing two-legged games for Scotland?

"It is just the same, though these are so close together; it would normally be a Saturday to Wednesday not Saturday to Tuesday," he says.

"But it just feels like it is half time and as soon as the game finished on Saturday that is what we thought.

"I know Ipswich will be treating the game that way as well and will be aware the job isn't done yet.

"I think, to be honest, they will try and win the game because they know if they score again it will make it very difficult for us, and that is the best thing they can do.

"So we just have to make sure we are careful and will be trying to do everything we can to score, that is for sure.

"Everyone is basically fit; we are just ready for the game now so bring it on..."