Tomáš Souček: Leeds game will show us how good we are
Tomáš Souček says West Ham United need to replicate their performance against Tottenham Hotspur if they are to beat Leeds United on Monday evening.
The Irons went into their big London derby with Spurs fifth in the table and knowing a victory would maintain their challenge for a finish high in the Premier League table. The pressure was on, but Souček and his teammates rose to the occasion, scoring two fine goals and resisting a second half comeback to win 2-1.
With Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton all playing twice before West Ham kick-off against Leeds, the Irons will again be under pressure to perform, but the Czech Footballer of the Year is backing his side to do so and collect three more important points.
We want to be in this position at the start of the international break and after the international break we want to carry on
“We’re still in a great position, which is really good, so we’re still enjoying our time but we need to be prepared for the next game because this game will again show us how good we are,” he told whufc.com.
“I could compare this game to the game against Tottenham, when we were in this position and we beat Tottenham, so if we do a similar performance and get a win against Leeds, we will be in a great moment and a great position ahead of our games in the future.
“I spoke with the guys, with my teammates, and we want to be in this position at the start of the international break and after the international break we want to carry on. If we stay in this position going into the international break we will be happy because we will then have nine games until the end and we will have a good schedule ourselves.
“I hope we do very well in these three difficult matches [against Leeds, Manchester United and Arsenal] and then we will go into the international break with belief and it will set us up for the last step.”
Souček’s confidence is drawn from the improvements the squad has made, both individually and collectively, since they returned from lockdown in June last year.
Since then, West Ham have collected 57 points from 33 games and transformed from a side battling against relegation to one challenging seriously for European qualification.
For the No28, who was used to playing for a similar prize at former club Slavia Prague, it has been a welcome and not totally unexpected change in circumstances.
“It’s very different to last season,” he continued. “I was used to playing for titles and when I arrived last season we were in a big fight to avoid relegation.
“It was a big fight for me personally too as it would decide if I would stay here or not, so it was very hard, but I am very happy we changed our mentality in the summer and we brought in some extra guys and we are fighting for a great position.
“It is much better, but we must still be confident and carry on what we are doing because the teams in the top half of the table are very close together, so we have to be prepared for every game.
“I accepted we could be better because I was here last season and after we left lockdown we started to improve very quickly. From the lockdown until the end of the season, we had maybe the seventh or eighth best record in the Premier League and I wanted that to transfer to this season.
“Now it’s going well so I hope we will continue improving.”