George McCartney made it 50 not out for West Ham United at the weekend with a half-century of consecutive appearances for the club dating back to 17 March 2007.

The popular Northern Ireland left-back was happy to reach the milestone but admitted he was feeling the effects of a long campaign after the 2-1 defeat of Derby County. "To be honest, I am starting to feel shattered now," he told WHUTV. "I will be happy when the season is over. It has been a tough season but it has been pleasing to play so many games. I haven't had any rest but that is because I have wanted to be out training every day and playing as many matches as I can."

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McCartney, who turns 27 next Tuesday, added: "Overall I am happy with how things have gone this season. The last few weeks the results have been disappointing but we just need the supporters to get behind us for the last three games and hopefully we can stay in tenth place." Like his team-mates and fans alike, McCartney is eager to stay in the top half of the table - ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who drew at Wigan Athletic. "It gives us a little bit of breathing space. We have opened up a five-point gap and hopefully things will stay that way."

Reflecting in detail on Saturday's contest which saw Bobby Zamora's early goal cancelled out by Tyrone Mears before Carlton Cole's late winner, McCartney said: "The first half we had our chances to score two or three goals and didn't take them and in the second half they have come out and had a right go, and they have equalised. If anything they were probably the better team but luckily Coley has come off the bench and scored the winner for us.

"It has been a long season and a major improvement on what was achieved last year," he added, and while mindful the work never stops he said the efforts were taking a toll. "You give fans that improvement and people always seem to want more. Some players have played 40 games this season and now it starts to catch up on the whole squad. I think you have seen in that in the last few weeks. All the hard work we have put in at the start of the season is maybe beginning to tail off. The players are trying their hardest to put on performances and get the results."