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2013-03-29T09:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T01:03:01

O'Brien excited by Olympic move

Joey O'Brien believes moving to the Olympic Stadium could have the same galvanising effect on West Ham United's fortunes as a switch to the Reebok Stadium did for Bolton Wanderers.

The Trotters moved into their purpose-built new home in 1997, with the club immediately seeing a sharp rise in attendances.

Following a certain Sam Allardyce's appointment as manager in 1999, Bolton's success continued on and off the pitch, with the club twice qualifying for Europe, reaching the League Cup final and attracting some of world football's biggest names.

O'Brien, who moved to the Reebok Stadium in 2002, says West Ham can hope for a similar impact when they switch to the Olympic Stadium.

"It will be unbelievable," confirmed the Republic of Ireland full-back. "Looking at the stadium when the Olympics were on and seeing what the club want to do with it by turning it into a football stadium, it looks unbelievable.

"I think it can only mean good things for the club when you move into a stadium like that - you can attract players and supporters from all over the world to play and watch there.

"If the club wants to push on and to finish higher the league, then we need a bigger stadium and to fill it to get the revenue into the football club. It's a great step forward."

O'Brien himself has recently signed a new long-term deal with the Hammers and is setting his own sights on pulling on the claret and blue shirt at the club's iconic new home.

"Looking at it from a playing point of view, it will be fantastic to play in a modern stadium like that. It will be one of the best in England, if not the world."

Looking back at his former club's rise from Division One to the UEFA Cup, O'Brien said Bolton would not have enjoyed such success had they not moved from Burnden Park to the Reebok Stadium.

"If they hadn't have moved to the Reebok then I don't think they'd have established themselves in the Premier League and definitely wouldn't have got into Europe.

"Stadia help to attract players and get revenue into the club and, from that, if the team settles into the stadium then it will help them to beat teams and finish higher up the league, then you attract more players. It's a rolling thing.

"Up there at Bolton, they would probably have not achieved the same success without the new stadium.

"I love Upton Park but if the club is going to move on, then people have greater ideas than me and it would be great to play there."

As somebody who has family members and friends who come to visit and watch him in action regularly from his native Dublin, O'Brien said moving to easily accessible and facility-rich Stratford would be of great benefit.

"It's going to be unbelievable in terms of transport for people getting there and even for local fans getting there on the Tube. With the grounds and the Olympic Park and all that, it's very, very convenient that everything is in place.

"That's the most-important thing - it is nearly all in place and it's not as if we are building anything from scratch. It's all there ready to go."

Looking ahead to Saturday's visit of West Bromwich Albion, O'Brien is expecting a tough test from the Baggies, albeit one he is sure the Hammers can overcome.

He said: "It was a hard game up there earlier in the season, a tough place to go. But it was a good point at the time. We set out to keep a clean sheet and we did that. We're looking forward to the game on Saturday now and hopefully we can get the three points.

"If we do get the three points it would set us up for a nice end to the season. If you had given us this position at the start of the season we'd have taken it.

"We're in a decent position but if we can get a couple of wins in our next couple of games we'd be in a really good position."

O'Brien will be keeping an especially close eye on a player he spent time with during a spell on loan at Sheffield Wednesday from previous club Bolton Wanderers in 2004.

He added: "Chris Brunt  is a smashing player. I played with him at Sheffield Wednesday on loan. He's done really well for them this season.

"They have some very good players, the likes of James Morrison and Shane Long. They're solid at the back too so it's going to be a hard game, but we're hoping we can do the business and break them down.

"We have a good record at home, we've made this place a tough place to play so they won't be looking forward to it.

"We showed the depth of the squad against Stoke. We were missing Nolan and Noble, and the manager had to make two substitutions in the first 10 minutes, but we got a great win. We've got a great quality of player here, so hopefully we keep on doing the business."

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