Downes takes Hammers back to basics

02 December 2010 01:00
New West Ham defence coach Wally Downes has lifted the lid on his safety-first approach, which appears to have kick-started the club's mini-revival. The Hammers have won both their games emphatically since the arrival of Downes, whose appointment came in the wake of the sacking of controversial assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic just over a week ago. Rock-bottom West Ham scored seven goals and conceded just one over the course of Saturday's Barclays Premier League victory over Wigan and Tuesday night's shock Carling Cup thrashing of Manchester United. Downes has been credited by defender Jonathan Spector with being the inspiration behind such a dramatic improvement but the former Reading coach insists there is nothing magical about his contribution. "If the ball is there, you have to get rid of it," Downes told the club's official website. "There's no value to overcomplicating things in your own final third. "I like to play football in the opposition's half. That's where the damage is caused, so the more you can keep it away from your goalkeeper the better."

Source: PA