Valon Behrami is itching to return to action in front of the West Ham United supporters.

The Hammers star is happy to be back at the club's Chadwell Heath training ground and is working hard to regain full fitness following cruciate knee ligament surgery in March. He took time out from his rehab schedule to give an extended interview to WHUTV.

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The 25-year-old has taken a "big step forward" by running again as part of his intensive training programme, which included one-on-one work with a club physiotherapist while away on holiday.

Injured since twisting his knee in the 1-0 victory against Manchester City on Sunday 1 March, Behrami has high hopes of being back sooner rather than later.

He is eager to repay the club's faith in him. The hugely popular Switzerland midfielder joined a year ago this month from Serie A giants Lazio and said the last 12 months had made a significant impact on his professional and personal life.

"I am settled here, it happened very quickly," he said in an exclusive extended interview with WHUTV. "Apart from the injury, this last year was very positive for me and for my life in general. It has been fantastic. It is strange because one year ago was so different. When you don't know the people it is not so easy.

"Now I feel better. Also, apart from the football, outside I know the city and there is a fantastic atmosphere. It is very nice to meet the supporters. For me it is a great incentive for me to work hard, every time I meet them I feel that [support]. Being injured, it is great to feel important to the supporters."

Behrami, who is hoping for a third major finals appearance at the end of next season after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, following his involvement at the 2006 edition and UEFA Euro 2008, added: "It is good to be back. When you feel part of a team, every time you return it is a pleasure. It is very important for a football player. If you go to work and you are not very comfortable it is not easy, but here everybody is happy."