Algeria's Feghouli says West Ham need to build momentum

Reuters , Friday 20 Jan 2017

Sofiane Feghouli
West Ham United's French-born Algerian midfielder Sofiane Feghouli (L) vies with Crystal Palace's English defender Joel Ward during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Crystal Palace at The London Stadium, in east London on January 14, 2017 (Photo: AFP)

West Ham United's Sofiane Feghouli says his team know there is still plenty of room for improvement as they prepare for a trip to Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday after a morale-boosting win last weekend.

Midfielder Feghouli scored his first Premier League goal for the club in last week's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace which lifted them into 12th spot and helped to banish fears they could get dragged into a relegation battle.

"We need to make improvements defensively but also in attack," the Algerian said in an interview ahead of the meeting with 16th placed Middlesbrough.

"As a team we have been conceding too many goals and at times we need to create a more solid back line to make it harder for teams to score, " he added. "The plan now is to work hard, we're all very humble players who are capable of improving."

The win over Palace was particularly welcome as it followed a 5-0 home defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup and a dispute with midfielder Dimitri Payet who wants to leave the club and has been dropped from the squad.

Feghouli has been restricted to just two starts for West Ham since joining from Valencia on a free transfer last summer and was sent off against Manchester United last month.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Roma but says

he is happy in London and prepared to fight for his place.

"I was delighted to score my first Premier League goal. It came in my second start here. I played the whole game and the supporters were all very happy," he said.

"I'm ready to play every week and hopefully I won't suffer any injuries. I want to help the club finish as high as possible."

Feghouli says they he is expecting promoted Middlesbrough to provide tough opposition.

"Middlesbrough are a very hard team to beat, especially away from home but we'll go there full of confidence after our win over Palace," he said.

"We know there will be tough periods in the game but we need to be patient as a team, take our chances and be solid defensively."

There will also be a couple of familiar faces on arrival at the Riverside as Feghouli goes head to head with two former Valencia team mates.

"There are two players there that I have played with previously in my career -- Antonio Barragan and Alvaro Negredo at Valencia so I would like to wish them the best of luck for the game on Saturday," said Feghouli.

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