The Big Interview - Adrian

Adrian looks forward to a historic first game at the new Stadium

Adrian has enjoyed many memorable performances for West Ham during his career in east London but he is now bracing himself for one of his best moments as the Club prepare to play the historic first game at the new Stadium.

After months of preparation, the countdown is finally over and the Hammers will play their first match in the UEFA Europa League as they look to overcome a 2-1 deficit from the first leg against Slovenian side NK Domzale.

Adrian showed his quality once again when he made a superb double save at the end of the game to keep the scoreline at 2-1 and now hopes to get the job finished and qualify for the Europa League Play-Offs....


Despite the defeat in Slovenia last week, how impressed you were with the superb double save you made at the end of the game to keep the scoreline at 2-1?

Adrian: “I impressed myself with the double save and it was very good. It was a great moment as if they had made it 3-1 it would have been very difficult for us in the second leg at home.

“At 2-1 we have a good chance if we start well and score early. I think we will then have a very good chance of getting through.

“I would probably put that up with two of the best saves I have ever made. My job as a keeper is to help the team and I managed to do that.

“Sometimes the keeper does not have much action during the game but you have to be ready for the last minute as the game is still being played and that was a good moment to make a double save and keep the scoreline at 2-1.”


How important could that double save prove to be in potentially helping you reach the next stage of the competition?

Adrian: “We are still in the tie and one more goal would have made a massive difference. To keep it at 2-1 was so important for us, even though it was still not a great result.

“We tried to win the game and every player was disappointed with the performance as we didn't play as well as we did last season.

“But we have a great chance in the second leg on a new pitch at our new Stadium. We will have a big crowd and it is a massive game for us. It is a great chance for us to win in front of our own fans and keep up the confidence.”


You know one of the NK Domzale players very well having played alongside Alvaro Brachi at Real Betis. You will obviously want to earn the bragging rights over him?

Adrian: “Brachi played with me at Real Betis throughout the Academy until we got to the U21's. He is a great guy.

“I lost contact with him a little bit when he went to play in Greece and that is the way it works in football.

“He was very happy to beat us last week, but it is our job to win the second leg and I am sorry for him but we want to reach the next round.”

How excited are the players at the prospect of playing the first ever game at the new Stadium on what is going to be a historic night for West Ham United?

Adrian: “I think everyone is excited to play this first game. We all want to play in the Europa League next season and we want to show our fans that we still have a strong squad like we did last season.

“We have some injured players but we still have enough strength in the squad to play at our maximum level.”


You went to visit the new Stadium last season. Can you quite believe that you will be playing there on Thursday night?

Adrian: “It is a massive stadium and it will be great to play there with the atmosphere inside the stadium and all the fans who will be attending.

“We have new changing rooms, the pitch, the crowd, all the new facilities that the fans can enjoy and the new store. It is an exciting moment for everyone at the Club.”


You have played in front of 35,000 fans at Upton Park. How much are you now looking forward to performing in front of 60,000 every home game at the new Stadium?

Adrian: “It is much better for us as players as we will have double the number of fans getting behind us and we will feel that on the pitch.

“We have great fans and I know they will create a great atmosphere inside the new Stadium.”


This is going to be a big few days for the Club with the first game and then the big pre-season friendly against Juventus where we will also see the official opening ceremony. How much are the players looking forward to the next two games?

Adrian: “We have two big games coming up, but we have to focus first on the Europa League tie as we want to reach the next round.

“After that hopefully we will be in the next round and we can then look forward to another big game against Juventus.

“They are a top team and this is another good chance for us to show our level.”


Finally, how pleased are you that Darren Randolph has pledged his long-term future to the Club after agreeing a new four-year deal.

Adrian: “I am very happy with the news. Darren is a great keeper and everyone asks me about the competition for the goalkeepers.

“I think this is the best thing because it makes us want to give 120 per cent every day in training and in the games because you want to keep your position in the team.

“It is a great thing for us and also for the team. I am happy for Darren as he did very well with Ireland during the Euro Finals and he deserves his new contract.”