Making a positive difference

With three games of the Barclays Premier League season remaining, Adrian is in position to make West Ham United history
With three games of the Barclays Premier League season remaining, Adrian is in position to make West Ham United history.

The Hammers have not ended the season with a positive goal-difference in the top division since 1985/86, some 29 years ago, when John Lyall’s side finished third with a +34 goal-difference.

West Ham go into their final trio of fixtures having scored a single goal more than they have conceded, 43 to 42, and the Hammer of the Year runner-up is keen to keep that positive statistic in place come 24 May.

The Hammers have kept clean sheets in their last two league matches, but with an in-form Christian Benteke lurking at Aston Villa on Saturday, keeping a third will be easier said than done.

“Our goal-difference statistic is good,” Adrian told West Ham TV. “As a goalkeeper I hope to keep getting the clean sheets and then with one goal we get the three points!”

“It’s difficult to keep clean sheets in the Premier League and also when you play against teams that are playing to avoid relegation, it’s very difficult.

“We have another three games and we hope to get more clean sheets in these games.”

Aside from his own heroics, including a penalty save at Queens Park Rangers, Adrian’s cause has been helped by 18-year-old centre-back Reece Burke, who has made a superb impact since being drafted into the side at Loftus Road.

“Of course, he [Burke] has played very well against good strikers, because Zamora and Austin for Queens Park Rangers are playing well and it’s a good experience for him. He needs to keep training hard to stay in the first team.

“The more experienced players are giving advice to him, to just concentrate on the game and have confidence in himself.

“We have three more games and all three are tough. They all are in the Premier League and Aston Villa away will be a hard game, but we go there to get the three points.”

As well as finishing behind winner Aaron Cresswell in the Hammer of the Year voting, Adrian went home from Wednesday’s Player Awards with the Save of the Season trophy.

For the second season in succession, the Spaniard was recognised for an outstanding stop from Chelsea’s Brazil international Oscar.

“This is the second one, and last season was the same!” he smiled. “The Save of the Season came against Chelsea and from Oscar too.

“For a goalkeeper, all saves are very important, because you’ve saved a goal and that’s important for us. I remember all of my saves, but this one I think is one of the best.

“I was very happy in that moment, I think it was 0-0 at the time. But when you make a save, every time you are happy.

“The goalkeeper’s job is to make saves, you need to stay concentrated for 90 minutes, because you can make a save in the last minute and get a good result for your team.”