Aaron Cresswell

Cresswell: We have got some massive games in the Premier League to come

Aaron Cresswell says West Ham United cannot afford to go into another vital week with anything other than positive thoughts in their minds.

The Hammers were left down, but not quite out of the UEFA Europa League after Bayer Leverkusen scored two late goals to take control of their quarter-final tie in Germany on Thursday evening.

But, with the second leg still to come at London Stadium next week, either side of important Premier League derbies at home to Fulham and away at Crystal Palace, and a European place very much still to play for, the No3 says nobody in Claret and Blue can afford to lick their proverbial wounds.

It’s only half-time and we have to stay positive
Aaron Cresswell

He told West Ham TV: “We knew it was going to be tough going to Leverkusen as they’re a really good passing side, possession-based and don’t force any balls, so it was tough at times holding on, but we hung in there for 83 minutes so it was really frustrating to concede a first goal and then a second as well.

“Look, it’s only half-time and we have to stay positive. It’s another big European night at London Stadium and we need everyone together to try and turn the tie around. We’ve been in these type of ties, one-nil down, like Sevilla a couple of years ago, and we brought them back to our place and beat them, so we need another big night.

“They’re a really good side and unbeaten in 42 games, so we’ve got to go back to the training ground, dust ourselves off and play on Sunday and then go again on Thursday.”

Aaron Cresswell

For Cresswell, starting a major European quarter-final in his tenth season with the Hammers, and at the age of 34, was an achievement in itself.

“I’ve been here a long time and whether I’m on the pitch, on the bench or in the stands, I’ll give everything I’ve got for the team and for the Club,” he explained. “Every footballer wants to play as many games as they can and when called upon I’ll give everything I’ve got.”

With Emerson suspended, then, the left-back is almost certain to start the second leg at London Stadium and he would love to enjoy another big win under those lights, while he is also targeting Premier League points from Fulham and Palace.

“We have to stay positive,” he insisted. “We’ve got some massive games in the Premier League to come and we want to finish as high up the table as we can and get back into those European spots.

“It’s certainly up for grabs as there are only six games left for us now, and on Thursday night we want to get through into the next round.”