Tomas Soucek urges West Ham not to ease off when on top after recent scares

Andy Sims, PA
·3-min read

Tomas Soucek admits West Ham need to kick their bizarre habit of blowing 3-0 leads.

The Hammers have raced three goals ahead in their last three matches, but were pegged back to 3-3 by Arsenal and were clinging on at 3-2 against Wolves and, on Sunday, Leicester.

“We are confident how we’re playing from the start,” said Czech midfielder Soucek, “but it is still only 60 minutes, because in the last three games we have scored three goals, up 3-0, but each of the games we concede two or three goals.

Tomas Soucek, far right, says West Ham need to be more confident when leading
Tomas Soucek, far right, says West Ham need to be more confident when leading (John Walton/PA)

“I am happy that the last two games it’s only been two – but still we need to be more confident for 90 minutes, not only 60 or 70.

“I think that it is about confidence and mentality. We are in very good shape for 60 minutes but after this we feel that we are close to a win and we want to play with safety in mind, and it feels like we’re safe in our box but that is not true.

“We have to play like we have done in the first 60 minutes, we’re safe when we still press them and play high. If we’re only in our box then the opponents create chances.”

  1. West Ham 3 Arsenal 3

  2. Wolves 2 West Ham 3

  3. West Ham 3 Leicester 2

Jesse Lingard scored twice and Jarrod Bowen added the third before Leicester hit back through Kelechi Iheanacho’s double.

West Ham were relieved when a last-gasp Wesley Fofana header flew wide as they hung on for a victory which lifted them back up to fourth.

So can the Hammers stay the course and secure an improbable place in the Champions League next season?

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“It is still hard to say,” added Soucek. “We cannot count how many games are left and how many points we need.

“We have to prepare for the next game, for Newcastle, and we have to be happy that we have won so we can be in the same way, with the same spirit, and want to take three points from the next game.

“The Champions League seems nice but it is too far from now. We need to prepare for the next game not thinking about this position.

“It is great that we are controlling the games and the table, but like I said now it is Newcastle and I hope we will play a similar way in terms of being offensive.”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers dropped James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury due to Covid-19 protocol breaches (Nick Potts/PA)

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers dropped James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury due to a breach of Covid-19 protocols, but they will be back for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.

“It would have been easy for me just to give them a week’s fine, and then they join the group,” said Rodgers.

“But it’s more than that. It’s something now that will hopefully help them to make a decision if they are in that position in the future.”