Roy Hodgson believes that the lift his side received from the added time equaliser last Saturday against West Ham can prove vital in the coming weeks as they look to start climbing the table.
Wilfried Zaha’s strike from just inside the box was the only effort to beat Joe Hart from open play on an afternoon where the England goalkeeper’s performance looked like denying the home side anything from the game. Hodgson believes it shows the lads that the rewards will come if you keep doing the right things.
“It was a boost to come back from 2-0 down because in the Premier League when you find yourself two goals down even if you are one of the top teams you are facing an uphill task to get back to 2-2 and when it happens in the last minute after a strong second half performance from the team where we created a number of opportunities and looked like scoring on many an occasion only to be thwarted by a good goalkeeping performance. It's great to get the last minute equaliser because it reaffirms your faith in there being some sort of justice out there; that if you do play well and if you do really deserve to score and get a result, sometimes you actually get it,” Hodgson told the assembled media as he reflected on that vital home point.
The manager was not surprised by the way his side kept pushing for the equaliser a week ago as he has never questioned the fighting spirit in his squad since day one. He recognises though that even though it is a vital component of any side they will need to show more than that as he takes them to Wembley for the London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
“I’ve not seen any signs of a lack of fighting spirit from the moment I was appointed. I don't think from what I see in training that there's any lack of desire on the part of the players to give their absolute all to help the club get out of the situation it finds itself in. But unfortunately fighting spirit alone is not enough, you have to play good football along the way, you've got to defend well and you've got to attack well. They are the things players are trying to do in their everyday training session and the last three games have been an improvement from the first three games I had with the team here and we’re hoping to keep that standard going.”