West Ham safety more important than award for Parker

West Ham midfielder Scott Parker insists his footballer of the year award will lose some of its lustre should the club be relegated this season.It was revealed on Friday that Parker, 30, was this season’s recipient of the Football Writers’ player of the year award, and he will receive the honour at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on May 12.

But with West Ham sitting second from the bottom in the English Premier League, two points short of safety with five games to play, Parker said the award will count for little should his side drop to the Championship.

When asked if relegation would tarnish the award, Parker replied: “Yes, I suppose it will.”

“I stated recently the main focus this year is staying in the Premier League with West Ham, and, if we don’t do it after all the personal accolades, it will be very, very disappointing.”

“We have got a very good squad, some very good players, but for one reason or another we haven’t picked up the points we need.”

“If I could put my finger on it I’d be doing everything I can – whether it’s players underperforming, whatever. We need to try and pick up some results.”

Nevertheless, Parker said he was delighted to be recognised for his efforts this season, as he became the first West Ham player since Bobby Moore in 1964 to claim the prize.

“I’m absolutely delighted, it’s fantastic to get the award. When I got the phone call to say I’d won it I was speechless really,” he said.

“I feel like I have been playing some good stuff so I’m just glad that people appreciate what I’ve been doing.”

“I’m probably playing the best football of my career (because of) experience. I’ve stayed away from injuries, and I’m playing in the team regularly. You get a bit older, you learn a lot more. Things become a little more easier for you.”