George McCartney believes West Ham United can continue their encouraging start to the season when they head to Norwich City on Saturday.
The Hammers have won two of their opening three Barclays Premier League fixtures and will head to Carrow Road confident of achieving their first away victory of 2012/13.
The reigning Players' Player of the Year will help West Ham's cause with insider knowledge on four Canaries players who he has previously played alongside - former Leeds United trio Robert Snodgrass, Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson and ex-Sunderland centre-back Michael Turner.
The left-back sat down with whufc.com to talk about his former team-mates and his hopes of success in Norfolk.
George, you and all the players must be encouraged by the good start we have made to the new Barclays Premier League season?
GM - "Yes, we have collected six points from nine. We sat down before the season and worked out what we were aiming for from the first few games so to get six points out of nine is a very good start and gives us a platform to build on. Hopefully we can be consistent throughout the season and have a really good year."
When you are out on the training pitch, do you look around and think to yourself 'We have got a really strong squad here' and believe we can have a successful 2012/13 campaign?
GM - "I pre-season, the squad wasn't that big. It was pretty much the same as last year. Although we all had really good seasons last year and promotion was the main aim, I think the manager knew he had to make the squad stronger. Over the last two or three weeks, you can see some of the quality that the manager and the Joint-Chairmen have brought into the club. Everyone has fitted in really well and it's going to be hard, not only to get into the team but to get a position on the bench because it's a big squad now. We have a lot of quality players, but you expect that of a Premier League club."
We have lost just one away game since January - last time out at Swansea City - so presumably we are targeting a positive result at Norwich City?
GM - "Last year, our away form was a lot better than our home form. We hadn't lost away from home for a few months prior to Swansea but I think you know that, when you move up to the Premier League, the main thing is to win home games. It's going to be a lot harder to play away from home and we found that at Swansea. We did gift them the first two goals but overall our performance wasn't good enough. We all sat down and looked through the game to see where we went wrong and I'm sure the same mistakes won't be made against Norwich."
What is your assessment of Norwich City?
GM - "It's going to be a tough game. They have made a few signings over the summer and they got a draw at Tottenham in their last game, which is no easy place to go. They will be looking to get their first league win of the season but we've had a good start and hopefully we can continue to progress and stay in the top half of the season."
You played with three Norwich City midfielders during your loan spell at Leeds United in 2010/11. What can you tell us about Robert Snodgrass, Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson?
GM - "They are all obviously great lads and I had a few months with them at Leeds. I could tell then that they were all quality players and would end up getting the moves that they wanted to the Premier League. I didn't see many of Norwich's games last year but I'm sure they were playing most weeks and doing a good job. All three of them are very good players and come Saturday, they'll present a tough test for us. That said, I look around our team and we are more than capable of getting a good result. Howson is a very attack-minded midfielder.
Scotland winger Robert Snodgrass was very highly-rated at Leeds and has settled in quickly at Carrow Road. What is it that makes him so effective?
"Snodgrass's quality on the ball is probably up there with any winger I have come across. From free-kicks and corners and creating goals from open play, his delivery is really good. He might not have that much pace about him, but his quality on the ball is really good and I'm sure he'll be a danger-man for us to watch out for. In general, I think it'll be a tough game and Norwich have a lot of quality players. I do feel we can at least get a draw there."