'We need to make it a fortress'


Kieron Dyer says West Ham United need to turn the Boleyn Ground into a 'fortress' if they are to climb the Barclays Premier League table.

The Hammers' home league form has been indifferent so far this term, with a victory over Tottenham Hotspur being overshadowed by defeats by Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea and Newcastle United and draws with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion.

Wednesday's 2-2 draw with West Brom left Dyer feeling down but not out. With Blackpool and Wigan Athletic next to visit the East End, the midfielder knows West Ham need to make home advantage count sooner rather than later.

"I honestly think that our better performances are away from home," the No7 admitted. "Look at how we played at Birmingham except for those ten minutes and Wolves in the second half. The players played with no fear and expressed themselves.

"Individually I feel fine playing at home, I am a confident player. But it does affect some players and that is something they've got to deal with because if we are going to stay in the Premier League we going to make this place a fortress.

"We are going to give the fans something this year to shout about and we are going to have to be big characters. Because again, as soon we went one up we nearly got the third goal but then we kind of went into our shells.."

Kieron Dyer

Dyer, who completed his first 90 minutes for the club since August 2007, won the penalty that enabled Frederic Piquionne to put West Ham 2-1 up against the Baggies, only for Pablo Ibanez to head in a late equalier.

"In the first half we started slow, West Bromwich are a confident team and they were passing the ball well and when they went 1-0 up, they could have been 'Here we go' but thanks to Scott Parker again we got into it.

"Into the second half we came out of the blocks really well and we went 2-1 up and nearly got a third and were thinking 'We're going to get three points' and then again one cross, one goal. We have got to stop making these mistakes or this is going to cost us dearly."

Looking ahead to Saturday's visit of Blackpool, Dyer is aware of the threat posed by the newly-promoted clubs.

Having already failed to beat Newcastle and West Brom, the Hammers cannot afford to slip up a third time against a team of Premier League new boys, but the player knows it will not be easy.

"They lost at Aston Villa but they scored two goals. So, they are coming here and they're going to give it a go - I've told the lads that. They're going to have a good go at us and we've got to be 100 per cent confident and match their desire because this is a 'must win' game now.

"We said Birmingham was a 'must win' game, but against Blackpool we need three points otherwise people will start saying we might be doomed. So, we need to come out and be big characters and give the fans something to cheer about."

One major positive for Dyer was his ability to come through the full 90 minutes unscathed for the first time in more than three years.

"It was a massive stepping stone. I didn't have much energy for the last 20 minutes - I was running on empty. There were no signs of my hamstrings and to get 90 minutes under my belt will help me to get 100 per cent match-fit. When I get there, I will help this team massively and the sooner I get there, the better for all concerned."