Cresswell: A fast start will quieten the Toon Army

Aaron Cresswell


Aaron Cresswell will jet off on England duty next week – and he wants to do it with three Premier League points under his belt.

The left-back is one of two West Ham United representatives in Gareth Southgate’s squad for vital 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovakia, with goalkeeper Joe Hart also included. However, any ambitions to spend next summer in Russia will go on the backburner until after Saturday’s top-flight fixture at Newcastle United.

The Hammers go to St James’ Park seeking a first top-flight victory after losing at Manchester United and Southampton, but Cresswell says their second-half display at St Mary’s Stadium and midweek Carabao Cup win at Cheltenham Town have lifted spirits within the Claret and Blue camp.

“Of course, we haven’t had a good start, but we’re going to stay positive and Wednesday’s result helped lift the mood, as it always does when you get a win,” said the No3. “We are looking forward to the game against Newcastle on Saturday now.

“We’re only two games into the season, so there’s no point us being negative and saying the pressure is on us now, because that’s not the case. We had a tough start against Manchester United and the Southampton game wasn’t going to be easy after we had a man sent-off early doors, but we showed great spirit to come back into the game.

“We’ve put what happened at the end behind us now, as there’s no point us dwelling on it. We can only take each game as it comes and we’re not focused on Newcastle and winning the three points on Saturday.”

If we have a good first 20 minutes and hopefully get an early goal, we can turn the crowd on them and that’s what we’ll be looking to do

Aaron Cresswell

Saturday’s trip to the North East marks West Ham’s fourth straight away game to start the new season, but Cresswell refused to blame being unable to play at London Stadium as a reason for their two top-flight defeats.

“It’s not a big deal for us,” he said. “You’ve got to play everyone home and away in a Premier League season. So, regardless of when and where you play them, we’ve got to be professional and be able to deal with it.

“Apart from the travelling, the preparation is the same, whether you are at home or playing away, as we stay in a hotel on the Friday night before home games.”


Aaron Cresswell


While away matches may hold no fears for Cresswell, he has tasted defeat on his previous two visits to St James’ Park – a record he is eager to change on Saturday.

“They are very passionate up there and we know, if we have a good first 20 minutes and hopefully get an early goal, we can turn the crowd on them and that’s what we’ll be looking to do,” he said.

“Hopefully, that will kick-start our season, as it would be nice to get the three points before we go away on the international break.”

Looking further ahead to that break, Cresswell is excited about the prospect of adding to his two England caps, and playing alongside Club-mate Hart in the process.

“Joe is really experienced and knows what it is like to win, as does Pablo Zabaleta,” he observed. “That’s only good for us and, speaking of Joe in particular, he is a fantastic goalkeeper.

“He’s been England’s No1 for numerous years, so for him to be with us is fantastic for us defenders and for the whole squad.”