Evatt warns happy Hammers
Blackpool's Ian Evatt is hoping a perceived air of overconfidence in the West Ham camp comes back to haunt them.
Last Updated: 16/05/12 12:58pm
Blackpool defender Ian Evatt is hoping that a perceived air of overconfidence in the West Ham camp comes back to haunt them on Saturday.
The Hammers are due to face the Seasiders in the Championship play-off final this weekend, with a place in the Premier League up for grabs in the richest game in world football.
Blackpool head to Wembley on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run, but aware that they shipped eight goals against the Hammers during their two league meetings this term.
Ian Holloway's men have been written off by many, with West Ham expected to make an immediate return to the top flight at their expense, but Evatt claims his team-mates revel in their role as the underdogs.
"If you listen to them, they're already up aren't they?" he said.
"It's going to be a 90-minute game and it's going to be difficult for them as it is for us.
"If I was them I wouldn't be counting my chickens just yet because what I have learned over the past five or six season is these players never give up.
"It's a fantastic Blackpool team and one that it's a privilege to play in."
The appearance of a mocked-up online photograph of West Ham's away kit for next season, complete with Premier League branding, is the latest thing to get the goat of Evatt although The Irons have confirmed the picture is a hoax.
When asked whether the tone of elements of the pre-match build-up had become an irritation for him, Evatt added: "Yeah, I'd be a liar if I said no when I read the papers and read what certain people are saying about how West Ham are going to win.
"A guy has just told me that their new kit's come out with Premier League badges on, which I think is jumping the gun a bit and it's disrespectful towards our group of players.
"I'm not going to sit here and say Blackpool are going to win, but we're going to give them a better game than they think we're going to give them."
A spokesperson for West Ham has distanced the club from the mocked up photograph.
"West Ham United can confirm that reports of replica shirts being produced with Premier League badges on ahead of Saturday's play-off final are completely erroneous.
"The photograph of a shirt is a hoax and in no way connected to West Ham United Football Club. Comments made as to the conduct of our club in regards to our opponents on Saturday, Blackpool, are also false and have again, nothing to do with the club."