David Gold was thrilled to take his seat in the Directors Box for West Ham United's Barclays Premier League win over Swansea City, having been laid low with a bout of pneumonia.

Thanks to a brief stay in hospital, the Joint-Chairman is now fighting fit once more and relieved to be back in the thick of things at such a crucial stage of the season.

With a win under his belt on his return to the Boleyn Ground, Mr Gold has high hopes for Sunday's all-important clash against Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to West Ham TV, he said: "I'm feeling so much better. It was pneumonia, and luckily my daughters got me into hospital and within a week or so I was beginning to feel better. So here I am!

"When you're poorly and the team's having a bad run, you're anxious to get back and be amongst it and do whatever you can. And because of the transfer window being open as well, it's frustrating, you're lying there feeling ill, but at the same time desperate to get back."

Looking ahead to the weekend trip to Villa Park, the Joint-Chairman believes West Ham's squad is stronger than ever, with astute January signings made and key personnel back from injury.

"I'd like to think it's going to go the way we would like it, which is that we'd go there and win," he said. "They're going through a terrible time, but you can't believe that's going to last through the season, at some time they're going to recover.

"But I think we're strong, and we're getting stronger. The squad is not only strengthened by the incoming players but also by a number of players returning from injury, in particular, Jack Collison and Andy Carroll. These are fantastic additions to the squad so we should be in as good a shape as we have been, if not our best shape going into Aston Villa."

For exclusive access to the full-length interview, in which the Joint-Chairman shares his views on a busy transfer window and West Ham's away-day fortunes, login or subscribe to West Ham TV using the link below.

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