Ryan Fredericks believes March will be a pivotal period when it comes to West Ham United’s hopes of securing a top-seven Premier League finish.
The Hammers kicked-off the month by defeating Newcastle United 2-0 at London Stadium, while the next three fixtures also see Manuel Pellegrini’s team face opponents currently sitting below them in the table in Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Everton.
With trips to Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all on agenda for April, along with a home match with Leicester City, Fredericks says the Irons need to put more points on the board as soon as possible to build confidence for that run of games.
We’ll definitely know we’ll have been in a game after the 90 minutes at Cardiff, but I’m confident we can get the three points
“There are a couple of teams above us that we want to catch and we’re more than good enough to go on a little run now by beating the teams below us and around us,” said the right-back, who has helped the Hammers to lose just one of their last five Premier League matches since returning to the team at the start of February.
“This is an important month as we have three of the so-called top six coming up away from home over the next couple of months, so we need to pick up some more points now.”
First up for Fredericks and his teammates is a trip to South Wales to face relegation-threatened Cardiff on Saturday afternoon.
The Bluebirds will begin the weekend in the bottom three and without their injured defensive talisman Sol Bamba, but West Ham’s No24 is not expecting an easy ride from a side managed by the vastly-experienced Neil Warnock.
Statistically, Cardiff are the Premier League’s most direct team and Fredericks is expecting a physically demanding battle this weekend.
“I played against Neil Warnock’s Cardiff last season and he’s a great manager,” he observed. “Credit for what he has done with so many teams, getting them promoted.
“It doesn’t matter what the style of play is, he wins games, which is the most important thing.
“I know how hard it is to play against his teams. They put you under a lot of pressure and their players follow you all around the pitch, so we’ll definitely know we’ll have been in a game after the 90 minutes, but I’m confident we can get the three points.”