Ryan Fredericks: Recent clean sheets have been a team effort
Defender Ryan Fredericks has credited the diligence of the entire West Ham United team after their recent impressive defensive run.
Sunday’s shut-out against Manchester United marked the Irons’ fourth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions – the first such Hammers run since February 2014.
This defensive steel proved crucial in keeping the visitors at bay on Sunday as goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell at the tail end of both halves sealed three statement points for West Ham at London Stadium.
“We always know we can score goals so by keeping it tight at the back, we’re going to keep on winning games,” Fredericks told whufc.com afterwards.
“We’re working hard with the manager, doing a lot of team shape work. For the lads it might not always be the most fun thing to do, but as defenders that’s our main job.”
The 26-year-old has started all six of West Ham’s Premier League fixtures so far, with no goals conceded in their last three games in England’s top-flight.
While Fredericks praised the work of his fellow defenders against Manchester United, he believes the side’s recent solidity derives from the team as a whole.
He said: “I think the main thing behind our run is that we’ve got our midfielders, wingers and strikers all working hard as a defensive unit.
“With us, it’s not just on the back five to defend. If you defend against some of these better teams with just the five at the back, you’re going to get hammered, so everybody is helping us out and we’re doing well because of it.”
Right-back Fredericks and left-back Cresswell were also consistent threats at the other end of the pitch on Sunday, pressing high and delivering a team-high three and four crosses from their respective flanks.
After Cresswell scored in only his second Premier League appearance of the season - a marvellous free-kick from 25 yards which curled into David de Gea's top-left hand corner - Fredericks expressed his delight for his fellow full-back.
“First and foremost we’re defenders, but when we get the chance to get forward, we know we need to do so,” Fredericks said.
“Then, obviously, Cress chipped in with an amazing goal. I’m buzzing for him. He’s been waiting for a chance for a few weeks and now he’s come in and taken it.”
The 2-0 victory boosted West Ham up to fifth in the Premier League table at the close of the weekend, and Fredericks sees no reason why the Club cannot continue to challenge in the upper echelons of the league.
“I don’t see why we can’t sustain our form,” he said. “When you look around, there’s a few so-called bigger teams that are struggling with injuries and form, so it’s just up to us to keep on winning.
“We’re not going to say anything like we’ll be in the Champions League spots this season, because that’s obviously going to be a tough ask, but we’ve got a very good squad here and we’re very confident, so we’ll just take each game as it comes.
“If at the end of the business end of the season we’re still up there, we’ll be confident of fighting for it and not giving up our place.”