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Ward-Prowse confident as Hammers form surges

James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse believes the Hammers form surge can drive them to victory

James Ward-Prowse believes the Hammers form surge can drive them to victory in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 clash at SC Freiburg on Thursday evening.

Ward-Prowse confident as Hammers form surges

Having seen the Bundesliga outfit off home and away in their group the Hammers will face the German outfit  at the Stadion am Wolfswinkel.

A strong run at home and abroad in the run up to Christmas went ahead of the six-game winless streak at the turn of 2024, but victories over Brentford and Everton have supplied a huge boost ahead of the trip to south-west Germany.

JWP said: “We’re all looking forward to getting stuck back into European competition. It’s another good challenge for us, and I think we’re all going into it feeling good.

“We’ve picked up two really good results in our last two games, and most of the squad are fit and on form now, so we have to be confident we can keep that run going and take a good result back to the London Stadium.

“It’s certainly not going to be an easy ride, though. It’s probably going to be tougher than when we’ve played them before, because they know a bit more about us now, and they’ll have extra motivation going into the tie.

“They’re going to be hard working, and they press very well, so they’re things we’re going to have to counteract, but we have to stay focused on what we can control and do our best to show our qualities.”

One difference from the Irons’ October 2023 visit to Freiburg will be the presence of away fans this time around, following their exclusion at the group-stage game, and Ward-Prowse believes they could provide the edge needed to get the team over the line.

And, having notched four assists in his six Europa League appearances so far this season, the 29-year-old is hopeful of adding more goal involvements to his tally in the upcoming tie.

He added: “It’s definitely going to be a good atmosphere over there. It was loud without our supporters last time, so with the 2,000 or so that have got tickets it’s going to be great.

“They’ll be supporting us in their numbers like they always do, and that always gives us a boost.

“From my perspective, the most important thing is that the team is getting the right results, but it is always nice to contribute. I feel I’ve contributed well in certain areas, but there are still plenty of games to come and hopefully I can grab plenty more goals and assists going forward.”

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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

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