Jose Fonte says West Ham United need to show 'intensity, desire and passion' if they are to win Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Swansea City.
The Hammers go into this weekend's clash with the South Wales side on the back of a dramatic 3-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, having almost completed a miraculous comeback after falling three goals down.
The Portugal defender, who has been called up for his country's vital 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Andorra and Switzerland next month, was proud of the way his team did not give up the fight, but knows they cannot afford to gift Swansea the same advantage at London Stadium this weekend.
“Our last game was a disappointing result,” Fonte told Saturday’s Official Programme. “We obviously wanted to give the fans the bragging rights of the derby, so we’re not happy we didn’t do that, but we put our hearts in the game, we were aggressive and we wanted to win.
“We’re not happy with the result, but we tried to fight back and we nearly did it, so there is no feeling of moral victory, but it’s important to know that it’s a long season and this game is gone and if we can get the three points today, we go into the international break with a positive feeling.”
I think Swansea are a good team, they have improved from last year, so I think it’s going to be an interesting game
Like their hosts, Swansea have won just once in their opening six Premier League matches, failing to score in four of them, but Fonte is not expecting Paul Clement’s team to roll over when they visit east London.
For that reason, he has referenced the dominant 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town on 11 September as a blueprint for Saturday's showdown.
“Swansea is a team which plays with three centre-backs, so we expect a tough game, like every game in the Premier League is, but if we bring the same intensity, desire and passion that we brought against Huddersfield, that will give us a great opportunity to win the game,” said the No4, who has been in impressive form so far this season and chalked up his maiden assist in Claret and Blue against Spurs.
“Obviously you still need the quality to win games, but if you bring those things then it’s more than 50 per cent in your favour, because with the players we have in our team, we are always going to create chances. We just need to take them. We also need to get back to keeping clean sheets and defend well.
“That said, I think Swansea are a good team, they have improved from last year, so I think it’s going to be an interesting game.”
*Standard Tickets for Saturday’s Premier League fixture with Swansea City are on General Sale here via the Ticket Exchange.