Craig Bellamy is looking forward to West Ham United taking on top-class opposition for the second time in four days on Wednesday.

The trip to Manchester United follows hard on the heels of the 2-0 home defeat by Arsenal on Sunday when Bellamy and his team-mates turned in a terrific display. Bellamy went close to opening the scoring - "It was nearly there," he recalled - while Arsenal had several good moments before Julien Faubert's unfortunate own goal and a late strike from Emmanuel Adebayor after a swift counterattack.

"I am disappointed we lost but it's nice to be looking forward to the next match, which comes soon, on Wednesday, and be involved with that," Bellamy said. "It's been really good and after last season, being out injured, obviously I am just happy to be playing again.

"I haven't had that opportunity for a long while, to have played and then be looking to play again in the next game, so that is great for me." The striker will be without his weekend partner Carlton Cole - who is suspended for the next three games after his late dismissal - and he knows it will be tough to take on the champions on home turf. Having played, and scored, in the Champions League though, it is clear that Bellamy enjoys the big occasion.

"This what it is all about, these games, to be playing in them. You are playing at the highest level and this is what you want all the time, playing where the football is of the highest quality - we will go there looking to do what we can." The forward has also relished his role under Gianfranco Zola and the three-pronged attack.

"It's a different type of game to what I have been used to a lot and made my career from, being on the shoulder as the last man if you like. It's completely different scenario but it's great for me, I want to work hard for the team and want us to be successful."