Chris Takes A Chance

ON-LOAN full-back Chris Powell remains convinced that the Hammers have the quality to win promotion this season, however the 34-year-old defender insists that Alan Pardew's men must be more ruthless in front of goal to break down Watford this Saturday.

"In our last home game against Brighton we created a lot of chances and had a great deal of possession, but didn't score," he said. "They had one chance and scored from it, which was desperately disappointing. We need to take the lessons from that match into this weekend's game.

"I'm sure Watford will look to defend very tightly and try to stop us playing. But we have enough quality in the squad to break down most teams, and we must take our chances when they come along."

After back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Millwall, Chris does admit that this weekend's clash with Watford is a vital fixture to get the Hammers back on track. However, he warns against bringing undue pressure into this weekend's Championship match.

"Watford is a really important game," he admitted, "one that we really need to win coming off the back of two defeats.

"But when you are challenging for promotion to the Premiership every game is important and every point is just as vital as the last.  I don't think it's a good idea to put extra pressure on, and it will be important for us to avoid getting caught up in any outside pressures going into the game.

"We are determined to win against Watford and as usual we'll be going all out to achieve that."

The 1-0 reverse against Brighton tarnished an otherwise excellent Hammers home record, which had seen Alan Pardew's men win five successive matches at Upton Park before losing to the Seagulls. Chris agrees that West Ham need to revive that superb form over the Christmas period to stay in touch with the Championship leaders.

"Our home form has been great this season," he enthused, "and now it's time to put the Brighton result behind us and really start to pick up that form again, starting this weekend against Watford.

"As always, the Upton Park crowd will have a big part to play in that. We'll need them to really get behind us again and hopefully we can give them a few goals to cheer.

"Upton Park is a tough place to come and play, because of the great atmosphere. I've done it with Charlton and believe me it's a lot less intimidating when you're playing for the home side!"