Alan Pardew admitted that Hammers got out of jail
following the 2-2 draw with Everton. But with his eighth-placed
side still unbeaten in a nine-match streak stretching back to
January 7, the manager insists that a storming run-in is still
possible as we enter the final few furlongs of the season.
"We don't really mention Europe at the training ground," insisted Pards after seeing strikes by Marlon Harewood and Dean Ashton wiped out by Leon Osman and James Beattie at Upton Park.
"We feel that this West Ham United team is a good one and,
although the likes of Arsenal and Bolton can be stronger on their
day, we're there with the other sides around us.
"Our focus remains strong and when you look at our remaining home games, then we can still go close.
"We showed some quality in the first half but I just felt that we lost our way a bit after the break and that can happen sometimes.
"Everton were the better side in the second half and we started to look like a team that hadn't played for a couple of weeks. Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville were very good for them in midfield and once Everton equalised to make it 2-2, they looked like that they were going to go on to win it.
"You have to say well done to Everton today and, indeed, we only got out of jail because Danny Gabbidon went beyond the call of duty to save a winning goal with his late, diving header off the goal-line. That saved us from defeat.
"But there were some positives for us out there today, too. Paul Konchesky did well while I thought that Dean Ashton's touch was excellent. He did some very good Teddy Sheringham-like things out there until he took a few knocks too many.
"Sven Goran Eriksson was here today and he showed him what he's all about. Deano was unbelievably good for us in a below-par team performance."