Gianfranco Zola is fully focused on Sunday's visit of Fulham and the chance to move higher up the Barclays Premier League standings.
The manager has plenty of options at his disposal with the 18 that were involved against Newcastle United last Saturday all fit along with the likes of Jonathan Spector, Walter Lopez, Kieron Dyer and Freddie Sears after they came through a valuable midweek reserve run-out. "I love London derbies," Zola said. "It is one of those games where you don't need any extra motivation to play and I'm sure the players are fully committed to this."
Zola was in confident mood amid reports concerning Craig Bellamy, who remains a contracted West Ham United player. "What I have to focus on is the game. The club wants to keep the player and I want to keep him and we will see what he wants to do. It's difficult to keep players who don't want to stay at the club but we'll see what happens. I am concerned about the game which is the most important thing."
Indeed, a fifth match unbeaten in all competitions would see the team move up to at least ninth place and secure the first 'double' of the season after the 2-1 win at Craven Cottage back in September. "Now we have two league games to play at home [including Hull City on 28 January] so we can put some distance between us and the bottom and get a taste of the upper half of the league. The best thing is that it is in our hands.
"It will be a tough match," Zola added. "They have conceded very few goals away from home. They are very organised and tight but we are on a good run and we hope to continue on this way." The manager was particularly delighted with the effort and commitment shown by his squad in recent weeks, with everyone playing their part in such fine form.
"I'm very pleased, but the team have never let me down. Even when we were losing games we were playing quite well. But, in the last few weeks, we have added the results which is the most pleasing thing for a manager." Fulham manager Roy Hodgson could say the same of his men of late and Zola is full of praise for his opposite number. "I have great respect for him and he has done a good job," he said.