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Tuesday, 21 September 2010 06:52

West Ham’s Da Costa remaining focussed after first point

Hammers struggling in England

Portuguese defender Manuel da Costa admits that it has been a tough start to the new Premiership season, both for himself and winless West Ham United.

The Portugal under-21 international was handed his first appearance of the season at the weekend as West Ham drew 1-1 at Stoke City. It was the Hammers’ first point of the new season after four straight defeats, but the London club remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

For Da Costa, the match represented a positive development, with the defender having dropped down the pecking order at Upton Park since the arrival of new coach Avram Grant. The former PSV and Fiorentina defender had ended last season as the club’s Player of the Month for May.

"It has been difficult for me over the last few weeks, but you have to take the rough with the smooth,” Da Costa said. “You have to be ready so that when you are called upon and you come back, you play well for the team, for the club and for everybody.

"It was a good performance from all the team - from everybody. We played well against a very strong team. When you play against Stoke City, every ball is a long one. You have to keep your eyes on the ball, because it is always in the air. They are a hard team to play against.

"On Saturday, we played well. We stayed strong, even after they equalised, and could even have won the game. In the circumstances, we will take the draw and the point.

"It is important that we have got a point on the board. Now we have to think about achieving a victory in the next game - first at Sunderland in the cup, because this competition is very important for everybody, and then after that on Saturday against Tottenham at home.

"I know Tottenham are a big team, a strong team and are a Champions League team, but beating them is possible."

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