Pablo Fornals: Pressure not on West Ham in top-four race

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Jack Rosser
·3-min read
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 (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
(Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

Pablo Fornals says the pressure is all on the established clubs scrambling for a place in the Champions League with West Ham.

The Hammers face top-four rivals Chelsea tomorrow and Fornals insists his side go into the game with nothing to lose.

West Ham and Chelsea are level on points, with Thomas Tuchel's side sitting fourth thanks to a superior goal difference. A win for the east Londoners would give them a decent cushion ahead of their final five games - all against teams below them in the table, and four in the bottom seven.

Moyes will still have to contend with injuries to Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, while there is an anxious wait to find out if Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku will be available. Craig Dawson is suspended after his sending off at Newcastle last weekend.

The injury problems and that Newcastle defeat, however, have not dulled the mood in east London. And Fornals says, despite their battle for Champions League football, the Hammers are playing with freedom.

"We don’t have anything to lose," said Fornals. "We are fighting against everyone with a smile on our faces. The people who used to be in the top four or six are the ones who feel the pressure. We are just enjoying it, this is what brought us here and this is what will put us at the end of the season in the position that we want to be."

The 25-year-old, who signed from Villarreal under Manuel Pellegrini in 2019, has been one of Moyes's unsung heroes this season.

After settling in English football and enduring a relegation battle, Fornals is immensely proud of this campaign.

"For me, I arrived last season, it was really hard for us and for me, fighting relegation," Fornals told Premier League Productions. "We had pressure here until the last moment. This has been unbelievable. If I was born in Essex as a West Ham fan I’d be proud to be a Hammer.

Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd
Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd

"I am playing, trying to help the team in whatever position I play because every day it is a new one or different. I am really proud to be on the pitch helping my teammates."

Without the threat of Antonio through the middle, the attacking burden will rest on Jesse Lingard against the Blues. The England international has nine goals in ten games since joining West Ham, and Fornals says the squad needed a character like Lingard and that he is happy to do the dirty work if the Manchester United loanee continues to get the Hammers over the line.

"You can see in his social media that he is a funny guy," said Fornals. "We needed someone like him, obviously when he put his boots on he is working, making the difference for us. If he is happy and making the difference for us I am really happy to run 15km if he is going to win the game."

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