West Ham look to boost survival hopes with Stoke win

Arthur Masuaku

"I was saying 'I'm coming to a team in the bottom three and if I'm not going to get all the players running, we're going to be in difficulty'".

Not for the first time this season, West Ham fans have heavily criticised midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate for his below par performance in the Hammers' 1-1 draw to Stoke at the London Stadium on Monday evening.

With both sides' Premier League places in jeopardy, it was a hotly contested game for the official to deal with - the match produced 36 fouls, the joint-highest in a Premier League game this season.

West Ham are a very hard side to predict, just look at their last two home games for evidence of that; they were abysmal in the 0-3 loss to Burnley, brilliant in the 3-0 win over Southampton. As it turned out, Stoke has five points to make up in its final four games if the team is to preserve its top-flight status.

That's the view of BBC pundit Chris Sutton who saw West Ham goalie Hart spill a Xherdan Shaqiri shot to allow Peter Crouch a tap-in.

"He's someone who needs the confidence, but I think he also needs the understanding of how you get to the levels you've got to".

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West Ham were again denied by the linesman's flag moments later when Javier Hernandez struck the ball past Butland, but Carroll was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

Disappointed Stoke manager Paul Lambert refused to give up the battle to beat relegation, saying: "I still think we need three wins". I've just thought about staying in the league and that is still my aim.

While the goalkeeper impressed in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea, Hart was at fault for one of Burnley's goals in a 3-0 home defeat last month.

Carroll said to Sky Sports News after the game: "It would be nice but I'm just concentrating on getting fit, scoring goals and getting in the squad".

He added: "I thought we deserved something from the game, we played a really good game and if we keep playing like that we will win games".

West Ham's goalscorer Carroll reflected on the last-gasp handball that put paid to a potential victor from Hernandez.

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