Irons defender “We have a great team and great belief”

Kehrer The rapidly improving form of Thilo Kehrer has been a very pleasant talking point over recent games,

The Hammers right/central defender was in great form though has been particularly keen to give his praise to Mike Antonio who has also been superb as we have recovered in games and shown terrific spirit.

Antonio was in the right place to poke home the Hammers’ second goal on 76 minutes, earning a 2-1 win for the home side against AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final first leg.

Successive wins for the Irons mean that confidence is high as they head to Brentford, a venue where the Irons reached the Emirates FA Cup fourth round earlier this year.

And Kehrer was quick to send plaudits the way of teammate Antonio, a player he admits has helped keep the Hammers heading in the right direction this season.

He said: “Michail is working like crazy up front at the moment! He is putting the defenders under stress and every game he is doing a very important job right now.

“He is scoring goals as well, so we are really happy that we have him. Mich is a great teammate. A great personality and positive energy. We all have a lot of jokes and laughs with him. He makes everyone have a good time and he is also a hard worker too.”

Kehrer, was involved in the wins over Manchester United and was as impressive again four days later against AZ Alkmaar.

When the Irons fell behind to a first-half strike from Tijjani Reijnders, he kept his cool. His experience was key in helping his side come from behind to secure a win for the fourth time in the UEFA Europa Conference League this season.

He added: “We have a slight advantage, but we know it is not going to be an easy game in the second leg and we will have to leave everything out on the pitch next Thursday to get to the final.

“I think we have to have a balance of putting a press on them and being controlled with and without the ball. Maybe we need to be a bit more clinical in the final third and better with the final pass or decision and then we have a good chance to create even more.

“But other than that, the game against AZ Alkmaar was a good game and we got the job done.”

Brentford is the next on the calendar, and the No24 heads to west London on a high saying: “We have a really strong togetherness and a team of great players, but the most important thing is that we stick together.

We have gone through the hard times, but what is very important is that we have hit our best form for the big games. And we just have to keep on going now.

“We have a great team and a great belief in the way we work and the way we play. All of that is working and we feel the energy rising every game, and going towards the end of the season we are only getting better.”

 

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon