Vladimír Coufal says he is enjoying ‘every minute’ in a West Ham United shirt as the Hammers continue their quest for European qualification.
West Ham travel to Newcastle United on Saturday knowing a win will take them up to third in the Premier League table, above Leicester City, and strengthen their claims for a finish among English football’s top clubs.
With Everton and Tottenham Hotspur drawing on Friday evening, a win over the Magpies will take the Irons nine points clear of the Blues and eight ahead of Spurs.
And, while there are plenty of points left to play for, Coufal says the ‘winning mentality’ he developed during two successful seasons with previous club Slavia Prague will stand him and the Irons in good stead as they seek to end the 2020/21 campaign in style.
If we could finish in the top four it would be unbelievable because it would be the historical best for West Ham
“Of course, I came from this winning mentality, but I think every player here has that mentality inside of them,” he observed. “We need to believe we will win and then you feel it and after that it’s about us saying ‘keep on going, keep on pushing and let’s work very hard for ourselves’.
“I enjoy every minute in a West Ham shirt because it’s a very special thing. I am so glad I can be here, especially this season when we can get a historical result, and that’s our goal now.
“If we could finish in the top four it would be unbelievable because it would be the historical best for West Ham. We need to get some more points and we need to finish the season in the top three and top four and I have confidence in my teammates that we can do that.”
The No5 is looking forward to his first experience of playing at one of English football’s most iconic stadia in St James’ Park – a ground he first saw when the late Czech Republic international goalkeeper Pavel Srníček (pictured) excelled for the Magpies during the 1990s.
“Like always in the Premier League, I expect a very difficult game, especially in St James’ Park,” he confirmed. “I am really looking forward to it, because it is one of my favourite stadiums in England, to be honest.
“Overall this stadium is very, very nice and I saw Pavel Srníček play for Newcastle and I think the fans there love him. Then, when I saw the movie ‘Goal!’, since then I’ve loved this stadium even more.
“But, getting back to the game, they are getting better in their last two or three matches and won against Burnley, and now they are ready for us. I think they are healthy now with Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, so those are reasons to be very careful because those two guys are very good together and we have to be ready for everything.”