Hitz aims for cup repeat
Thomas Hitzlsperger has pointed to West Ham's Carling Cup win over Manchester United for inspiration.
Last Updated: 31/03/11 10:57am
Thomas Hitzlsperger has pointed to West Ham's Carling Cup tie with Manchester United as they prepare to host the Premier League leaders on Saturday.
United may have fielded a weakened line-up in the quarter-final clash back in November but the manner of West Ham's victory shocked many.
The Hammers won 4-0 to dump United out of the competition and inflict their first defeat of the season.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men remain on course for the Premier League title, though, and will travel to Upton Park looking to extend their five-point lead.
But Hitzlsperger, who was injured for the November clash, has urged the Hammers to look to that quarter-final game for further inspiration.
"I am just looking back to the Carling Cup game, that was a fantastic game for us," he told the East London Advertiser.
"I saw that one and it was a fabulous performance, so if we look back on that one, we know that we can beat them if we are playing to our strengths.
"But they are the best team in the country at the moment and it won't be an easy afternoon.
"I am in a good mood, so are the other players and therefore it should be a good afternoon," added the Germany international.
"Confidence is quite high at the moment. Recent results have been good apart from the FA Cup game at Stoke, so therefore the atmosphere is quite good and hopefully it will be the same after the game on Saturday."
West Ham have boosted their survival hopes by winning their last two home games to climb out of the drop zone on goal difference.
Hitzlsperger's return from injury has been a major factor in the Hammers' revival, with the quarter-final defeat at Stoke the only time the former Lazio midfielder has been on the losing side in five games.
And the 28-year-old has become an instant hero amongst the Hammers' faithful for his composure on the ball and his superb shooting ability, which has already produced two goals.
"I'm happy with the way it is going after such a long injury, I didn't really know what to expect," he said.
"But in four of the games I have played 90 minutes, and in the other one 70 minutes, so it is more than I expected to be fair.
"I'm quite happy with the way things are going. I've scored goals and set a few up so I couldn't have dreamed of a better start really, but there is still a long way to go and plenty of space to improve and I am working on that and hopefully by the end of the season I can get even better and help the team to stay up."