Hurst tips Hammers play-off joy
Sir Geoff Hurst is backing West Ham to secure their return to the Premier League the hard way after missing out on an automatic promotion spot.
The former Hammers striker, who was plying his trade at Upton Park when he wrote his name into the history books with his World Cup final hat-trick, admitted his disappointment that Sam Allardyce's men were unable to secure the top-two finish which looked to be within their grasp as the npower Championship season approached its climax.
However, now Cardiff stand between them and a Wembley final with a place in the Premier League prize at stake, and Hurst is hoping they can make the most of their second chance.
He said: "It was tinged with disappointment that they didn't go up automatically when it looked like they were going to do, but they are still in with a shout, and a very strong shout.
"They have got to win three more games. They didn't finish the season too badly, particularly at home, where results had been poor at times.
"The away record is some kind of record for the club, but they have lost a couple of games at home. But they won convincingly at home, 6-0, a couple of games ago and in terms of form coming into the play-off games, the form is pretty good.
"It's going to be tough. They are playing Cardiff, who gave Liverpool a game in the Carling Cup final, but they are still there. They are still in with a shout with a couple of games home and a final at Wembley to fight for."