Hart: We’ve got to stick together and play for each other at Chelsea
Joe Hart wants West Ham United give the Club’s supporters another reason to cheer when they take on Chelsea on Sunday.
The Hammers head to Stamford Bridge eager to build on their morale-boosting 3-0 win over Southampton last weekend – a victory that was inspired by a vociferous London Stadium crowd.
And Hart is hoping the backing of a 3,000-strong Claret and Blue Army in west London will give the players the boost needed to secure a positive result against the reigning Premier League champions, who were beaten at home by Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
“We’re really together as a group,” said the England goalkeeper, who has kept six clean sheets in 17 career appearances against the Blues. “We want to unite the fans as best we can. At the same time, we’ve got to stick together and play for each other and that will translate to the fans and I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.
“We’ve got to concentrate on us on Sunday. If we perform to the best of our ability and give a good account of themselves, you never know. Chelsea will play as they do and prepare as they prepare, and they’re a top-quality team who won the league last year and a couple of results aren’t going to affect them too badly.
“As I said, I think we’ve just got to look after us and give a good account of ourselves.”
If we perform to the best of our ability and give a good account of themselves, you never know
Hart himself was part of a solid defensive performance against Southampton last time out, helping the Hammers to keep a welcome clean sheet after the team had conceded eleven goals in its previous three Premier League matches.
The experienced stopper did not have a save to make thanks to the outstanding performances of the likes of Angelo Ogbonna and Declan Rice, among others.
At the other end of the pitch, Joao Mario and Marko Arnautovic were clinical, putting West Ham into a two-goal lead and all but killing off the Saints’ challenge within 17 minutes.
“We made a good start and we built on it. It was nice to score the goals when we were on top because, for all the situations we’ve been in, I think we’ve always been quite even in games and the first goal has been key for us, so it was nice to get it.
“That first goal [against Southampton] was so important for both teams and, as it happened, we felt Southampton’s weakness and we built on it.
“The boys defended really well and it was nice to be behind. I’ve just got to do my job for the team as best I can. It’s not all about saving the ball, you’ve got to be in the best position you can be in and it was down to all the boys that we got the result.”
While he was protected superbly, Hart was called into action to deal with a number of set pieces, which he did calmly and effectively.
With England manager Gareth Southgate watching on, the No25 certainly did his 2018 FIFA World Cup hopes no harm, and Hart himself is naturally desperate to be part of the Three Lions squad in Russia.
“I love being part of that England squad and that’ll never change. Being away with them, I enjoy all the time, but I also enjoy working here with Woodsy, Adrian and the young ‘keepers.
“I enjoy football, so having the opportunity to train and be part of things, whether that be with West Ham or England, is something that makes me happy.”