Day: Players deserve more credit

Mervyn Day has paid tribute to the efforts of the West Ham United players and staff in working to instigate an impressive turnaround to stay in the Premiership; an achievement he believes they have not received due credit for.

The Hammers assistant manager says: "We were very mindful about things that were being said about us as a Club, not so much about us as individuals, but about what had gone on behind the scenes before we came and you can't influence that.

"I think what has happened since we beat Man United in the final game has been nothing short of scandalous and derogatory. The players have not been given enough credit for the achievement of winning seven out of nine games. Most people seem to have failed to grasp the fact that Tevez's registration was always correct, that wasn't the issue.

"I feel sorry for the players for the fact that they haven't been given the credit for what was arguably an even better escape than Portsmouth managed to pull off last season."

According to Merv, one vital ingredient in effecting the turnaround was to ensure the Hammers took an early lead.

"I think a feature of the team over the last few games was that, when we did have something to hang onto, they worked their socks off, made blocks and made tackles.

"Yossi Benayoun made two goal line clearances in the last couple of games and he's been enormous for us. It was a very committed, good team performance. We showed lots of spirit and that's what we've got to hang onto and build for next season.

"As Alan said, we went about our business very quietly and just came up on the rails, in Lester Piggot-fashion. We just overtook the others right at the finishing line."

Merv also admitted the inclusion of several key players in what became a settled side gave the Hammers a distinct advantage.

"In the final run-in we usually fielded the same side," he said. "Players were getting to know each other, getting confident with each other. I think a big plus was Lucas Neill coming back in. Mark Noble's performance over the last 10 games was enormous. James Collins came back in and his partnership with Anton, apart from perhaps the Sheffield United game, was fabulous.

"Robert Green was excellent over the last couple of months. They were all excellent, all the players were phenomenal. In the last nine games we had five or six clean sheets. If you make sure things are good at the back we always knew we had the ability to go forward and score one or two. That's how it panned out."