Powell's Must Win Run-in

AT this stage of the season the phrase must win game is commonly heard.

But as far as Chris Powell is concerned, it's a description that could apply to any one of West Ham's nine remaining games as the Hammers look to secure their participation in the promotion Play-offs.

"I think all nine games are must win," admitted the defender, "and starting with Leicester we've got to go out and start giving the type of performances that reflect our situation.

"The Crewe result was a huge disappointment for us, especially the manner in which we lost all three points. There's never a good time to concede, but it was a huge body blow for us to let one in right at the end.

"Having taken the lead we had a lot of other good chances to score. The game was tight and it was obvious that the second goal was going to be all important. But it went the other way, and it was tough because we wanted to bounce back after three defeats."

However, despite the disappointment of dropping two points to the Railwaymen, Chris insists that the players have had no trouble lifting themselves for the challenge of Leicester in front of the Sky TV cameras on Friday night.

"It's a really important game and we desperately need the three points," he explained, "so the squad don't need any more motivation than that.

"It's going to be live on Sky and that always adds something to the atmosphere, and it should all make for a really interesting game.

"We really need to give a good account of ourselves against Leicester. We've had a good couple of days training after Crewe and the lads are up for it, but it certainly won't be easy."

Indeed, the Foxes will pose an entirely different proposition to the youthful exuberance of Crewe. Packed full of experience, Craig Levein's men certainly won't be overawed by the occasion and Chris insists the Hammers will face a tough examination.

"This is our third game in six days," he said, "and physically it's going to be very demanding. But Leicester have faced a similar schedule of late and it'll be a real test of both teams' stamina.

"Leicester have got some experienced players, guys like Dion Dublin and Keith Gillespie, who've played at the very top level and they'll use that to their advantage.

"They're a big side and they're probably a bit more direct than Crewe, so from a defensive point of view we'll be put under a bit more pressure.

"But we should also see plenty of the ball ourselves and that's where we've got to utilise our ability and try to hurt them.

"At the start of this week we were looking at taking six points from Crewe and Leicester. That's obviously not going to happen now, but it's important we put that behind us and make sure we take at least four points this week and put the pressure back on the teams around us."