West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian brushed off the idea that the conditions will work against his team this evening in the second leg of their Europa League qualifying match against Birkirkara, as he spoke to the club’s official website.
The Hammers travel to Malta with a slender 1-0 lead thanks to a James Tomkins header in the first game, with conditions likely to test the side out to the maximum.
However, Adrian feels there is a very simple way for the players to deal with playing in the humidity and heat and has suggested that it shouldn’t be used as an excuse of the side struggles to get over the line during the game.
“For me it’s not a problem because I am adapted to this hot climate but I would tell them to just drink a lot of water and to take a cold shower before the game,” he told whufc.com.
“I have confidence in my teammates but we need to be careful because Birkirkara are playing at home this time.”
Some common sense from the manager
Regardless of Adrian’s advice, it’s going to be a difficult evening but West Ham should have enough consistency and quality to get over the line if Bilic uses a common sense approach to the match.
If the conditions are really sucking the energy out of his key players, he needs to be ready to make substitutions, even if that means bringing off one of the more senior players in the team.
Bilic will back his players to win the key man to man battles all over the pitch, but Birkirkara’s players won’t hesitate if they start to see their opponents flagging in the heat and dropping their performance and intensity levels.