West Ham defender James Tomkins has insisted that the club will take nothing for granted when they face Bristol City in the fourth-round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Despite there being 38 league positions separating the two sides, Bristol have been in excellent form this season and have won six of their last seven matches.
The Robins are currently second in League One on goal difference alone and they have a game in hand which could see them leap to the top of the pile. And Tomkins is taking nothing for granted going into the cup clash.
"Bristol City won't be an easy game, anyone can beat anyone in the FA Cup. It'll be a hard place to go because they are doing well in the league,” he told the official club website.
"I'm sure there is a bit more pressure on us as we are the favourites being the Premier League side. We're expected to win. But Bristol City are a strong side and we'll treat it like they are a Premier League team. We can't underestimate them, we've seen it over the years. I remember watching lots of shocks as a kid, hopefully that won't happen on Sunday."
SOLID HOME FORM
West Ham knocked out fellow Premier League opposition in the previous round against Everton, which went to a penalty shoot-out in a replay that ended 2-2. The Hammers won the thriller 9-8 in the spot-kicks and in the whole deserved to be the team progressing.
Bristol were also taken to a replay against fellow League One opposition, Doncaster Rovers, who they beat comfortably 2-0 at Ashton Gate.
City’s home form has been very impressive this term – they’ve won nine out of 12 in the league – so the Hammers are going to be in for a very tough match, but Tomkins believes their recent spell in the Championship will stand them in good stead.
KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
"I think our experience of playing in the Championship not that long ago will help us, we know what to expect more or less. Obviously, they are doing very well in League One. It'll be a physical game and they will try and bully us, it'll be a hard game for sure."
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce certainly knows how to set his side up for a battle having got the team promoted from the Championship, but a lot of the newbies brought in over the summer won’t be ready for what’s to come.
However the quality running through the squad should be able to see them through as long as they stick to their guns and don’t get drawn in to a scrap.
The last time the two sides met, back in April 2012, West Ham only managed to take a point from Bristol on their soil as they fought out a 1-1 draw in a game which Tomkins gave the visitors the lead.
This time around the Hammers will want to get the win to ensure they don’t have to play-out another replay, although getting them back to the Boleyn Ground wouldn’t be the worst outcome as they strive to keep their FA Cup dream alive.
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