Galey's View

Tony Gale believes West Ham have just got to dig deep to find the sort of form that saw them start last season with a real bang and one which will see them climbing the table again.

A trip to the City of Manchester Stadium to face Stuart Pearce's side awaits the Hammers this Saturday, and Tony believes that with City in not so good form themselves and being dumped out of the Carling Cup in midweek, there is a chance to bring some points back to London.

" It's a big game for us, also tough, but we can take great heart from the way we turned them over at their place in the FA Cup quarter final last season.

"I also feel perhaps, we are meeting them at a time when they are not in such good form, and I really believe we can take advantage of that."

Tony feels that while the 1-0 defeat against Palermo last week in the UEFA Cup was a disappointing result the Hammers still gave a good account of themselves in their first leg European tie and that there is still a lot to play for. Against Newcastle, he thought the team just could not produce the sort of performance that have seen them build up such a strong home record.

"We know we didn't play like we can against Newcastle. Out of the last two matches we have played I think this would have been the one that Alan Pardew would have been most disappointed at.

"We just couldn't get going like we know we can, could not get the exciting play that we always displayed at home last season and only had a few isolated chances to show for our efforts.

"Alan is working out how to fit in the two new boys in, but this should turn out to be a pleasing problem and it is up to us to find the sort of form that we had this time last year. We have got it, it's about putting it in our play once again. That was one of our strengths last year, how quick we were out of the blocks, so we need to start doing that again, especially at home.

"Obviously this season, there are not as many secrets about us as such, other teams know more about the way we play, but it's up to us to raise our game again to another level and pull out some tricks we still have up our sleeves and we can do that."

A good result on Saturday will boost the Hammers before they travel to Sicily for the return leg against Palermo. Reflecting on the first leg tie at Upton Park Tony said,

"I thought it was a really good game of football. I didn't have to work that night, so watched the match purely as a fan and can honestly say I really enjoyed it, apart from the result of course.

"I think the game for us hinged on the action just before the break, when Carlos Tevez just missed that chance from a Bobby Zamora cross. You could say Palermo put their best chance away and we didn't.

"They tried some of their little tricks that European sides have and that may have stopped us a bit from going up stream as much as we would have liked, but I thought we did well considering it was the full debuts for Tevez and Javier Mascherano and the first bit of European action for most of our boys.

"And I certainly don't think the tie is over by any means and that is the attitude the boys should take out there. Palermo showed they are a very good side, but not a top quality side.

"Of course it's going to be tough, away from home as well, but I think we still have a good chance, I really do. And from speaking to some of our supporters after the game last Thursday night, many of them are looking forward to going out there to cheer on the boys and also feel it's definitely not over. So I'm sure the boys will be working hard to put in a performance for them and hopefully get a good result."

For now though the focus is on the Man City clash and Tony said that if Hammers can get off to a good, steady start, then they can use that confidence to break City down early.

"We need to really stay in the game for the first 20 minutes to half hour and apply the pressure, then their crowd will get on their backs and we can feed from that hopefully and go on to take the game."