Downes looks to be on a massive up


Flynn Downes in happy land

A first season in the Premier League is almost under his belt and Flynn Downes wants West Ham United to conclude their domestic campaign with a win at Leicester City.

A league curtain call arrives at King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon with the Hammers looking to end their season with a triumph to take into a UEFA Conference League final on Wednesday 7 June.

Away days have seen Downes feature regularly for the club this season. Starts at Anfield, Etihad Stadium, Old Trafford and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have seen the lifelong Hammer mix it with the very best in the top flight. A challenge he admits, but one for which he is ‘massively’ grateful .

In an interview with the West Ham official site, he goes onto say  “It’s the stuff of dreams. It’s mad how good the teams are in this league!

“You don’t get any better than those sides and they have been unreal to play against. It’s a massive step up – in terms of everything – because every player is unbelievable, and there are no weak links.

“That’s the main difference between League One and the Championship, I think; in the Prem, every player is on it, and there aren’t many weaknesses.

“It has been tough though making the step up because of that. I expected the first year to be like that, but I think it is about me finding my feet now and hopefully next year I can kick on and see how we go.”

The jump then has been clear for Downes then, but the battling midfielder has more than held his own. In the east Midlands, he wants to continue that fight. The 24-year-old is adamant there is more to come should he get the chance to make his 35th appearance in Claret and Blue this weekend.

He said: “It’s a chance for a few of us to show what we can ahead of Prague. It has been chaos and feels like every three days we have had a game but I don’t mind it. I prefer playing and getting involved on the pitch rather than just training.

“Leicester were very good back in November. I remember watching them and thinking they are so good – and now they are fighting for their lives. It’s mad how good the teams are in this league!”

After Leicester though, comes the Irons’ final fixture of a long season. The lifelong Hammer was just seven the last time West Ham played in a major final, with a narrow defeat on penalties coming against Liverpool in the 2006 FA Cup final.

Major silverware has not arrived in east London since and FA Cup in 1980. A first major European final since 1976 beckons, though.

As such, the box-to-box midfielder knows how important such occasions are to the Claret and Blue faithful. And if he didn’t, his family, all Hammers too, would remind him.

It’s so mad,” he enthuses, on the prospect of playing the final. “Actually, getting here is crazy. We are in touching distance of bringing a trophy back to east London, which is just mad.

“All my family will be there, so fingers crossed we get the job done. It would be a dream to do that.”

Good man Flynn!

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