Tony: Fans Are Fine

Tony Gale reckons that the fans are the best in the first division - but hopes that won't be the case next year!

He has been impressed with the continued fervour and devotion shown by the supporters this season and says:

"They are amongst the most loyal and you can tell by the numbers; I was at Sunderland last night and there were only 34,000 in a capacity of 48,000.

"I'd like to think if there was a 48,000 capacity at West Ham we would sell it - there are certainly more than 35,000 people who would have wanted a ticket for such an important game as tonight."

Ipswich did not even sell out their allocation on Saturday for their home tie with West Ham and Tony adds:

"That is disappointing as far as Ipswich are concerned but it shows you about the enthusiasm of our supporters.

"I think TV, while it does a lot of good things, does take away from the number of people wanting to go and see it live as well.

"But it doesn't seem to have that affect on our fans because they will still be going."

Tony says they haven't always had a lot to cheer about at home this campaign and adds:

"I am just hoping that it changes because Alan has been saying how the crowd can push West Ham on, but we haven't seen the lads really going this year so I'm hoping tonight that it does.

"I am sure it won't be for the want of trying from the spectators so the lads have really got to perform; there is a lot of pressure on but these are the games, as a player, you want to play in.

"Alan knows about the pressure and he will be trying to calm them down and get them to play with their hearts.

"You want them to start as Crystal Palace did; they were excellent and that is what West Ham have to reproduce.

"I have seen a lot of the play-offs, they are all hurly-burly, and the team that wants to play does it.

"Palace proved that they were up for it and that is what we have to do - and I think we can do it to set up a really good south versus east London final.

"I fancy us against anyone but you have got to do it."

Old boy and Hammers fan Iain Dowie is attending Upton Park and Tony adds:

"I went to the press conference last night where Iain Dowie said it would be lovely to play West Ham and he said we have got the best squad in the division.

"I don't think anyone would argue with that but those players have to go and do it.

"They are all good individually and every manager says they would probably like that squad as their squad - but they have to do it.

"I am really wishing Alan and the boys good luck."