Stuart Pearce believes West Ham have what it takes to turn the tide as they aim to seal a “tough” victory over Eintracht Frankfurt and progress to the Europa League final.
The Hammers are currently trailing the German side 2-1 in the Europa League semi-final ahead of Thursday’s second leg at the Waldstadion, and first-team coach Pearce gave a rallying cry ahead of the game.
West Ham approached the first leg in high spirits after beating Lyon 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, but quickly burst their bubbles as Frankfurt beat them 2-1 on home ground.
The Hammers’ form has plummeted in recent weeks barring their victory in France in the competition, losing to Brentford, Chelsea and Arsenal and drawing with relegation-threatened Burnley in the Premier League.
However, despite Thursday’s decisive draw on the back foot, there is still a strong belief in the east Londoners’ camp that they can still reach the final at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium.
Speaking to talkSPORT the day before the semi-final clash, Pearce explained that while the match against Frankfurt will be “difficult”, playing Rangers or RB Leipzig in the final is still possible.
The former Hammers player and current assistant manager, who has made 50 appearances for the club, said on talkSPORT Breakfast: “It’s going to be tough for us, you know. We probably didn’t do ourselves justice in the first leg.
“We conceded a few cheap goals and that put us in deficit at the moment. But, listen, we think it’s all up to you.
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“It’s a very open game. I’m not sure there’s much choice between the two of us [West Ham and Frankfurt]everything is in the night.
Pearce then sent a strong message to his players and those of David Moyes, urging them to repeat their performance against Lyon to book their final place.
However, the ex-defender also noted that reaching the last four in European competition has already marked a big moment in the club’s history.
“I think it will be a great occasion for the football club and the fans who travel there,” he added.
“With this team of players, we are convinced that they are capable of anything and we showed that when we went to Lyon and got a hell of a result and put in a hell of a performance.
“We’re going to have to do the same thing again.”
talkSPORT will have full coverage from the Waldstadion with kick-off scheduled for 8pm. Hugh Woozencroft will be your host while commentary will come from Sam Matterface and former West Ham striker Dean Ashton.
To tune into talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click HERE for the live stream.
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