Cresswell : We don’t quite get Fair Play League

West Ham United left-back Aaron Cresswell has told FourFourTwo that, while the club and players would love to play in the Europa League, they aren’t really sure how Fair Play works.

The Hammers currently sit 11th in the Premier League and, although they can’t qualify for Europe through their league finish, they could end up playing in the secondary continental competition due to their respect for the rules.

And Cresswell, like many fans around the country, finds the system complex. Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, the 25-year-old said:

“To be honest, I don’t think anyone really understands it! We haven’t been told to pull out of a tackle or anything like that, though.

To be honest, I don’t think anyone really understands it! We haven’t been told to pull out of a tackle or anything like that, though

“It’s not all down to yellow and red cards – it’s also attacking play and stuff like that,” he continued.

“But we’ll assess it at the end of the season and see if we’re definitely in it, then we’ll sit down and see if we need to plan our summer around it.”

In his first season in the Premier League, Cresswell has more than coped with the demands of top-flight football. Two weeks ago he was voted Hammer of the Year by the club’s fans, after playing in every minute of every game up until now. There has also been talk of an England call-up should his good form continue.

But right now he is concentrating only on performing for West Ham, and hopes that the Fair Play League will allow him to realise one of his dreams.

“As a club, playing in Europe is something that we’d love to do, and obviously playing European football for the first time would be fantastic for me as an individual. We want to play in it,” he said. “It would be a reward for the way we’ve played. Over the course of the season we’ve played some fantastic football, we’ve picked up some big results against some big teams.”

We still have something to play for - we want to finish as high up the table as possible. We know it’s going to be tough, given their situation

Before next season, there is still one game left as the current campaign draws to a close. West Ham could play a huge part in the relegation battle as they travel to struggling Newcastle United on Sunday. Although it will have next to no importance on their season, Cresswell is adamant that the club will remain professional until the end.

“We still have something to play for - we want to finish as high up the table as possible. We know it’s going to be tough going up to Newcastle, given their situation, but we’ll give it 110 per cent and hopefully get the three points.”

Interview: James Maw. Words: Jon Radcliffe

Aaron Cresswell was speaking on behalf of Betway, official principal sponsor of West Ham United. Betway offers odds on over 30,000 betting markets, available live and in-play across a huge range of sports.