Cottee: "Hammers must use Capital One Cup as a springboard for their season."
Manchester City legend Mike Summerbee and West Ham United legend Tony Cottee have given their thoughts ahead of the Capital One Cup Semi-Final between the two clubs and why the match is so important for their former sides.
Summerbee and Cottee were speaking at a Q&A event at the Etihad Stadium hosted by The Football League and credit card company, and League Cup sponsors, Capital One ahead of the semi-final first leg tie between City and the Hammers.
The BBC’s Mark Chapman hosted the event which saw the two legends give their thoughts on what has been two very different seasons for their clubs and what the prospect of Capital One Cup glory means to them.
Ahead of the event, The Football League ran a Twitter competition asking fans to tweet in the question they’d most like to ask their club’s legend. Those who tweeted the best questions attended yesterday’s event and posed their questions direct to Summerbee and Cottee…
Mike Summerbee on…
Winning the Capital One Cup
“Manchester City are still in all four competitions and the Capital One Cup is an important competition for this club. Playing at Wembley is a special occasion and one that all players treasure.
“The current squad and the management team have the opportunity for Manchester City to win things and kick-on for years to come. It is a really good squad of players with fantastic ability.”
“The team is attacking much quicker this season and playing some really attacking, entertaining football. If it is ever quiet in the crowd – it is because the fans are in awe of what they are watching.”
“Manchester City have created a fortress at the Etihad this season. We play wonderful football – exciting and attacking.”
“There are no easy games at this standard of football and the game on Wednesday will be a good one to watch. Nothing is predictable.
“West Ham will be hurt at the performance over the weekend in the FA Cup but the young players will learn from the experience and in the long-run it will benefit the squad.”
Tony Cottee on…
The Capital One Cup
“It will be a difficult game against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup this week, but there is no reason why West Ham can’t give the good performance fans will be expecting.
“West Ham need to get it tactically right on Wednesday and Sam Allardyce must organise the team – something he will be working on that over the next couple of days.
“West Have have obviously prioritised the Capital One Cup over the FA Cup and I understand that decision. When you are in the semi-finals of a major competition - with such an injury-hit squad - it makes sense.
“The Capital One Cup needs to be the springboard for West Ham’s season. Playing at Wembley is always a great occasion and the reason you play football. It is an achievement to be in the semi-final of this competition and it would be wonderful to get to the Final. These players can make history for West Ham Football Club.”
Bouncing back from the FA Cup
“West Ham fans deserve better than the FA Cup performance. It’s not easy for fans to go and watch that sort of a performance - the least they expect is value for money. There were some poor performances from senior players, but that is in the past and it has no relevance to Wednesday’s game now.”
“The players are fully behind Big Sam and his future coming into question will definitely motivate them. But they have to go out and prove that on the pitch – they owe Sam a performance.
“They need to put their recent poor performances behind them against Manchester City. Unfortunately, in this game if you don’t get results you are gone."
“City have been playing with increased pace this season. They are pressing much higher. The fans are lucky to be watching such a fantastic team. The fans love football and are getting rewards for sticking with the team during the darker days.”
The Capital One Cup clash between Manchester City and West Ham United kicks off at 7:45pm and will be screened live on Sky Sports.
The second leg match will be played on Tuesday 21st January, with the winner earning a place in the showpiece final against either Sunderland or Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday 2nd March.