James Tomkins feels very much at home at West Ham United after coming through the Academy ranks to become an established member of Sam Allardyce's first team.

Having already completed his first century of league starts at just 23 years of age, the defender can draw upon a bank of experience unavailable to many of his contemporaries.

With a trip to a relatively inexperienced Aston Villa side next up on Sunday, Tomkins is keen to build on last week's Barclays Premier League victory by improving the Hammers' away form, which has seen them take only eight of their 30 points this campaign on the road.

"I've been here since I was eight years old and it's hard to see myself anywhere else," he told whufc.com. "I'm enjoying it here and my objective is to go places with West Ham. I feel very much settled here, I'm still enjoying it as much as I did when I was a kid. My family are all local so it's very much a West Ham family.

"It was an important win last week. We had been conceding more goals than we deserved to in the previous few games. It showed at Arsenal that if you have a bad couple of minutes they can stick four past you, then at Fulham they didn't deserve the win they got, not 3-1 anyway, so it was nice to come back and get the result against Swansea, which was very much needed.

"People were talking after losing a couple in a row about being dragged into a dogfight at the bottom, but we've proved that we can do it under pressure and we got the victory we needed. Hopefully we can go on from there really with another win on Sunday."

Much has been made of Aston Villa's lack of experience this season, but Tomkins believes his game has developed by being thrown in at the deep end, and having played with the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton and Fabian Delph with England at age-group level, he is sure his Villa counterparts will come out of their trials and tribulations stronger.

He continued: "It is a hard situation that they're in with all the young lads they have throughout the team. I remember here under Gianfranco Zola when we were in a relegation fight and I was a young lad growing up and still learning my trade.

"It's hard and all the experienced players are important to you. Personally, I felt I thrived off the pressure, and it was good for me really growing up. It's made me more ready for the harder times which follow. After that and a year in the Championship last season I feel much more experienced and happier with my game."

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