Reid: West Ham need to start winning ways

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Winston Reid views tonight's Carling Cup tie against Oxford United as an opportunity for West Ham United to kick-start their season. The New Zealand international, who starred at the World Cup, has started life in the Premier League on the wrong end of successive heavy defeats to Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers.

Reid, 22, may know very little about League Two side Oxford, having only moved to West Ham earlier this month from the Danish club FC Midtjylland but the target is crystal clear.

West Ham need a morale-boosting victory ahead of Saturday's league trip to Manchester United.

"We haven't had the best start to the season – two games and no points. It's most important that we win," said Reid. "We have to go out to win all those cups because it's a chance to win a trophy."

Reid made a forgettable debut against Villa, when he was forced to play out of position at right-back as West Ham lost 3-0. Then Avram Grant's side had Bolton on the ropes for most of the first half – but failed to take their chances and were punished as Bolton sealed a 3-1 victory.

Grant admitted his team must tighten up at the back and the Oxford match could be a chance for Manuel Da Costa and Tal Ben Haim to stake a first-team claim. One positive Grant could take from Saturday's game was the bright performance of the Mexican winger Pablo Barrera, who was a constant threat to the Bolton defence.

Barrera is convinced that West Ham have enough quality to get over their tough start to the season – even with games against United and Chelsea coming up. "We have good players so I believe in the team. In the first half against Bolton we showed we can be better than the result suggests. The scoreline didn't reflect what happened on the pitch and I'm sure in the coming weeks we will be better."

Manuel Da Costa and summer signing Tal Ben Haim could come into the West Ham defence for tonight's match.

Grant is anxious for his team to tighten up at the back after conceding six in two games. Matthew Upson is doubtful after suffering a blow to the face in the Bolton defeat while the midfielders Thomas Hitzlsperger and Valon Behrami are still sidelined.

West Bromwich Albion have had a second bid for the Portsmouth utility man Marc Wilson rejected by the Championship club.

The Baggies have been busy on the transfer front in the last few days, signing the Nigeria forward Peter Odemwingie from Lokomotiv Moscow and Cameroon midfielder Somen Tchoyi from Salzburg.

However, an offer for 23-year-old Wilson, who can play in defence or midfield, has been knocked back by the Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou.