Tomas Soucek has hailed the mentality within the team as a key reason behind their success this season but has urged his teammates not to let up with just seven matches remaining this season.
David Moyes said: “That [winning mentality] is the thing I am looking for too. Vladimir and Tomas for example have played in a winning team, for most of their career in the Czech Republic. Jesse has played for Manchester United and for many years has always been challenging up near the top of the league so I am hoping the experience these boys have got will help us.”
Soucek praised the mentality that the squad have built up throughout the season.
Tomas Soucek said: “It’s great because not only here on a matchday but every day at Rush Green it’s the same – we have a very good spirit and we fight for each other every minute. When someone loses the ball, the second one wants to take it back, so our mentality is great and this way is good because we can look and see it in the table.”
Three points against Newcastle on Saturday will see the Hammers move into third spot with just six games remaining this season and the Czech Republic international was in a positive mood ahead of the clash.
Tomas Soucek said: “It’s true that we will go there confident because we won on Sunday and we are higher in the table again and we are going there for another fight. There are still many games to the end and we have to go to Newcastle and do as well as possible and I trust that we have the strength to beat them and stay as high as we want in the table.”
Soucek did, however, concede that the team need to change their mindset when they take the lead in matches. In three successive games, the Hammers have gone 3-0 up but on each occasion, the team have dropped deep and allowed the opposition to control the game.
Tomas Soucek added: “It’s true, the last two, three or even more games have been really tough for us physically and psychologically because the last three games we were winning 3-0 and every game was very crazy in stoppage time. In the first game against Arsenal we made a draw, but we were able to hold off the danger and win the last two 3-2, so it’s great that we have another three points but we have to play for the full 90 minutes, not only 60 or 70 minutes. I think it’s a mentality in our heads because last season when we fought relegation we played like this, for example [in the 3-2 home win] against Chelsea, when we stayed only in our box because we wanted to win too much. But it’s dangerous.”
The Hammers top scorer knows what it takes to win things having been named Czech Footballer of the Year two seasons in a row and picked up four domestic trophies in his homeland and has urged his team to stay on the front foot.
Tomas Soucek said: “It’s so much safer if we play with the same style [as we started the game], we press them high and we want to keep the ball. That’s much safer, so we need to change our mentality to this way. The first 60 minutes was incredible. We were winning 3-0 and we could have had more goals and I don’t remember them having a chance, so it was very good from us offensively and defensively. We need to carry on in this way for the whole 90 minutes.”
Despite the West Ham’s current place in the top four Soucek is not getting carried away just yet with what could lie in store next season.
Tomas Soucek said: “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.”
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