West Ham relegation fight: Tottenham derby key to survival, Carlton Cole says
Last Updated: 20/02/20 11:33am
West Ham’s derby with Tottenham next month could be their springboard to beating relegation, according to Carlton Cole.
A 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday means David Moyes' side remain in the bottom three as they face a run of daunting fixtures, starting with a Monday Night Football trip to Liverpool and taking in games against Arsenal, Wolves and Spurs.
That trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is scheduled for March 20, live on Sky Sports Premier League, and former Hammer Cole is hopeful the big-game atmosphere will inspire an upturn in results.
"You've seen the run-up we've got coming up, but I think the Spurs game might turn it around for us," said Cole on Good Morning Sports Fans.
"The Spurs game is always a cup final. We'll look at Southampton at home definitely. The Spurs game, if we can turn it on for that game, we'll be in and around it."
West Ham are winless in the Premier League since dismantling fellow relegation rivals Bournemouth 4-0 on New Year's Day, and Cole expects the fight for survival to go right to the final day, when fellow strugglers Aston Villa visit east London.
"I really think it will go down to the last game of the season at Aston Villa," said the former striker, who played for the club between 2006 and 2015.
"We've got Liverpool in the next game on Monday, that's going to be hard and a bit similar to the Man City game when you're trying to keep the scores low to go on for the next game after that which I think is winnable."
On a night when Rodri broke the Premier League record for most successful passes in a game with 178, Moyes came in for some criticism after leaving the likes of Sebastien Haller, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini on the bench.
But Cole backed Moyes' damage-limitation approach under the current circumstances, saying: "I think it's a good result to be honest, I've been up there when it's been 6-0," the 36-year-old said.
"What David Moyes set out to do is actually good. I know it's a very negative way to look at things but I think it's massive for the morale of the team to look forward.
"The goals could have been prevented, but it was a good showing. Not attacking-wise, but hopefully defensively we can go forward from there.
"We're not in a good vein of form at the moment but we really need to make sure that the morale of the team doesn't go lower than it already is."