Hammers still heading in the right direction

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West Ham entertain Newcastle United at Upton Park on Saturday evening looking to continue their unbeaten run which now stretches to five games.

And, even though we still find ourselves rooted to the bottom of the league, the fans can see that we are heading in the right direction with Avram Grant now silencing the early season boo boys. But Grant will be sure not to take Newcastle lightly as they are a difficult team to beat.

Their striker Andy Carroll is knocking on the door of an England call up and scored against us the last time we played each other at St James' Park in a 2-2 draw with a now trademark header. As we have seen earlier this season, the Hammers are susceptible to direct balls into the box - so Carroll could prove particularly dangerous.

Matt Upson and his back line partners will have a difficult game and will need the midfielders, especially the wide players to track back and try and stop the crosses coming in to the area in the first place and with our continued failure to win away from home, that heaps extra pressure on the team to win this game as next up in the league is Arsenal away.

Every time we play Newcastle at home it always brings back memories of our record win in the league, an 8-1 victory that came in 1986. Two notable feats were also achieved that night with our centre half captain Alvin Martin scoring an unlikely hat-trick, but remarkably his three goals came against three different goalkeepers.

The first came against the Newcastle no.1 who was replaced as he broke down after returning too quickly from injury. Then, with the score already 4-0 and Martin having scored again the replacement 'keeper picked up an injury and - with this being the time of only one substitute - Peter Beardsley went in goal as the Hammers went goal crazy and Martin completed his hat-trick.

Another notable occasion in that game is that a future Hammers and Newcastle manager - Glen Roeder - scored an own goal for the Magpies.

I can't see that scoreline being reproduced this weekend as we have only scored six goals in the eight of the league games we have played so far but a win for West Ham will push them up the league, above Newcastle, and possibly out of the bottom three, as the Premier League is so tight this season.

While we may be languishing at the bottom we are only six points off West Brom who are in sixth spot, so who knows - with a relatively easier set of games to come in November - it could be the Hammers pushing for a European spot as well, in this league this season anything it seems is possible.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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