Frank Stubbs: Digging deep

The German forward scored 12 goals last season
The German forward scored 12 goals last season

When West Ham took the lead on Tuesday night, the prospect of writing these latest notes with our top-four destiny back in our own hands could not have looked more unlikely. Yet here we are with four massive league games to go and that is the situation. With that and our trip to Wembley secured it has been an excellent week to be a Gooner.

My shorts come out of the cupboard in April and, except for special events, the long trousers tend to stay away until September. This beautiful sunshine we are enjoying at the moment supports my decision but although they were donned in London on Tuesday night I was extremely pleased I also took the sweater, coat and scarf! Sunny, yes, but it was a chilly old night!

The atmosphere was a little bit strange both in and around our stadium, maybe the whole 'after the Lord Mayor's show' situation I guess. There was an air of uncertainty about whether we could dig deep after all the hard work put in on Saturday evening, especially against a typically hard-working Sam Allardyce side which had enjoyed a nine-day break since their last outing.

It was probably no surprise then that the game struggled to get going a little and frustratingly we fell behind during the first spell where we looked like taking the lead ourselves.

Rather than this being the kick in the teeth we didn't need, the way we knuckled down and endeavoured to get back in the game as early as possible was extremely pleasing, Poldi's typically clinical finish coming crucially before the break.

It meant half-time optimism rather than pessimism as we tried to keep warm, and this emotion was vindicated come the end of the night.

There are no easy games in the Premier League, it is as simple as that. It might be a cliché at times but if Wednesday night's games don't emphasise that fact, nothing will.

We had to grind out our win on Tuesday night in a tough game for a number of reasons. Olly's superb goal and Poldi's second thumping left-footed finish made sure we did that. Very satisfying and it takes us into our trip to the home of our FA Cup final opponents with confidence.

Enjoy the Easter break Gooners and see you on Humberside on Sunday afternoon.

Come on you mighty reds!


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