West Ham United full-back Guy Demel was as pleased as anyone to see Stewart Downing rock up at the Boleyn Ground in recent weeks, having twice had to marshal the England winger last season. The Ivorian international is now keen to team up with the 29-year-old, knowing that the Hammers' new No23 will cause many an opposing full-back a headache this term.
Everyone's feeling good after Saturday's win. It makes it a pleasure to come into work and easy to turn up at the training ground. Everyone's got a smile on their face. It's really good to work with such a great set of lads.
When you win, everything becomes easier. That's why we're looking forward to getting a good result at Newcastle as well. Back-to-back wins for the first two games of the season would be fantastic. It will make us even more confident, so it's another win that we're looking for.
I knew Stewart before he signed for West Ham. I played against him last year, and he was playing on my side, so I knew he was good! When he came on, I'm not sure exactly how long he played for, he showed what he's about, very skilful and quick. That's exactly what we need. Competition for places is tough now. Don't forget, Joe Cole scored and he's a first-class player as well.
It's always good to play with that calibre of player, whether it's Downing or Joe Cole, because they've got quality. It's good to have them.
It's good when a winger in front of me gives the opposition full-back a tough time, because then he'll call the winger to help him. So it will be less pressure for me and makes my life a whole lot easier! It's really good to play with those guys in front of me.
Looking ahead to Saturday, it won't be easy up at Newcastle, it never is. Even Cardiff wasn't easy, maybe we made it look that way, but it wasn't. So against Newcastle, it's going to be tougher from the start, because they obviously lost their first game - so they're going to want to impress. But if we can keep a clean sheet and withstand the pressure, we've got every chance of coming back with the win.
As ever, there's a lot of chat at the training ground, some big characters. But to be fair, everybody's in the gym most of the time, working hard because it's still early days in the season.
Everyone's looking to get into shape. But it's a good laugh in the gym, we play music and we push each other. Men and their egos! So for now, that's where we're spending most of our time, but as the season goes on, we'll be more relaxed and there'll be more time to enjoy. Right now it's all work and no play, as we're still in that pre-season mentality.
Safe trip to all those travelling up on Saturday, see you there!