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West Ham’s Cresswell knows next two games are vital to Hammers’ top four hopes

Aaron Cresswell reckons West Ham will have a much better idea about their chances of a European finish after clashes with Manchester United on Sunday and Arsenal next weekend.

The Hammers are sitting pretty in the Europa League spots with 11 games to go, which is a far cry from the battle they faced to stay in the Premier League last season.

And the left-back knows they will really lay down a marker for the run-in if they can beat boss David Moyes’s old team at Old Trafford and European outsiders Arsenal at the London Stadium.

Cresswell said: “We’re 27 games in now, we’ve done really well with possibly higher expectations than people have thought of us and we want to hang in there as long as we can.

West Ham’s clash with Manchester United will be a big one for former Old Trafford boss David Moyes, but he will be without Jesse Lingard because of the terms of his loan deal

“After all the hard work, it would be a shame to fall away now.

“We don’t want that, we want to try to finish as high as we can.

“We know how tough it is going to be with teams around us hitting form — Chelsea are doing well at the minute — but there’s no reason why we can’t.

“We have earned our right to be up there and whether we can maintain it, time will tell.

“We’ve 11 games to go and some of the matches coming up… Manchester United and Arsenal.

“We know it’s tough with the teams around us but we have proved we can get results against the big teams.

Declan Rice and Co make it easy for Cresswell on the assists front, according to the defender

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“The next two games are massive. If we get six points from them — I know it’s going to be tough — but we are going to be right up there.”

Cresswell has played a key part in West Ham ’s success with some fine performances at both ends of the field.

To such an extent going forward that he is the top flight’s leading defender in terms of assists.

“It always helps when you’ve got Tomas Soucek, Craig Dawson, Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna and Declan Rice all attacking the ball,” he added.

“When you’ve got those boys coming in you’ve got a great chance of getting an assist.”

Tomas Soucek is another West Ham player who has benefited from Cresswell’s crosses from the left

Cresswell’s form has also made him a cult hero in Fantasy Football circles and the most selected full-back in the game.

He said: “One of my mates sent me a link to the Fantasy League so I could see the stats and it was something like 25 per cent have picked me.

“I don’t play to be honest but he was telling me, ‘You’re the top-ranking defender’.

“Stuff like that is good in showing you you’re doing all the right things, but I think you get a lot of points for clean sheets, don’t you? And that’s not just down to me, it’s down to the whole team.”

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A lot of it is down to boss Moyes, too, and the mentality he has instilled in the squad.

Cresswell added: “The lads have all bought into it and we’ve got a great team spirit, a great togetherness.

“You wake up and you’re actually excited to go into work.

“It’s a great time to be around.”




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