West Ham United’s veteran goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen has stated that his side cannot dwell on the Hammers Premier League position, with Jaaskelainen confident that his side can turn things around for the better.
West Ham currently sit 19th at the half way point of the Premier League campaign, and have struggled for consistancy, with the Hammers also having to contend with a lengthy injury list, with the likes of Ansy Carroll, Ricardo Vaz Te, James Tomkins, and James Collins all out with long term injuries, Captain Kevin Nolan is aslso suspended following his sending off in the defeat at Fulham on New Years Day.
Nolan starts a four match ban by missing Sunday Lunchtime’s FA Cup tie away at Championship side Nottingham Forest, in what will be a tough game for Allardyce’s struggling Hammers side.
Jaaskelainen has also had his own struggles this season, having come under critisism from some Hammers fans after lacklustre League performances, and was dropped in mid December by Sam Allardyce, with Allardyce opting to start Spanish goalkeeper Adrian, a new recruit from La Liga side Real Betis.
Goalkeeper Jaaskelainen has also had a rollercoaster campaign, keeping eight clean sheets in his opening 16 Premier League fixtures, before returning to the first team fold in the 3-3 draw against West Bromwich Albion at Upton Park last Saturday.
The veteran Finn stated in an interview….
“It is tough times at the moment and it seems that everything we do is going against us,” said the No22. “We need to keep believing that we will turn it around. It is just the little fractions that we are getting wrong.”
“You do cope with it,” he explained. “You try to prepare the same for every individual game and go from there really. You just have to work hard and do your best.
“If you look at the team, we have got loads of injuries at the moment – that’s not an excuse, but it is a little bit against you. I think we still have enough quality to come to places like Fulham and get something out of the game. But we must keep doing what we are doing and hopefully turn it around.
“With regard to the defensive injuries, you just have to get it on with it, really. Joey O’Brien and George McCartney are both experienced players and they can cope with that for a few games and hopefully then we can start getting our centre-halves back.”
Jaskelainen was also fearful of his own future as the first choice keeper, with Adrian providing Jaaskelainen with some serious competition for the jersey., Jaaskelainen was dropped from the Bolton Wanderers side in late 2011, and failed to make another outing for the club.
“Obviously I was disappointed to be on the bench, because of the way we started the season with eight clean sheets in 16 games, but that is part and parcel of football – sometimes you get dropped.
“But you just need to approach the next game and leave everything behind you. The only thing you can control is the future.”
Jaaskelainen also thought Nolan’s red card changed the game at Craven Cottege.
The sending-off obviously changed the game a little bit, but even when you have got ten men you still have chances and you are still in the game. They passed it very well in the second half, though. With the way they scored the second goal we can see that.
“That is the way it goes sometimes, but we have to make sure that we do the right things in the cup game on Sunday, though everybody knows the main focus is definitely on the Premier League and we need to start getting on an unbeaten run.”
The Keeper kept the Hammers in the game on New Years Day, making superb saves from Adel Taarabt, Dimitar Berbatov, and Darren Bent in the 2-1 defeat against their London relegation rivals.
The defeat means the Hammers have now won just 1 game in 13 attempts, in what is a difficult time for Allardyce’s side.
Jaaskelainen face a tough set of games after the cup tie, starting with a League Cup semi final tie at in-form Manchester City.
“Maybe it is a good thing with the injuries we have at the moment. It gives us a little bit more time for the boys to recover and obviously it is good for our skipper that his suspension goes through the cup as well.”
By Ben Reardon