One member of West Ham United's backroom staff who has taken great pride in the Club's start to the new season is goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson.

The Welshman has played his part in the Hammers keeping three clean sheets in their opening four 2013/14 Barclays Premier League fixtures.

While the temptation would be for Margetson to heap praise on his charge, Jussi Jaaskelainen, for West Ham's stingy start, he is quick to give the whole team credit for their outstanding defensive record so far.

"The first thing obviously is that, as a team, a clean sheet gives you a wonderful foundation to build on," said Margetson, a former Wales international goalkeeper. "Not only Jussi, but the whole squad has contributed to this effort.


"Goalkeepers pride themselves on clean sheets but, as well as Jussi is doing, he says himself that it's a team effort that gives us a super base to go out and get results.

"I've always said that a goalkeeper is only as good as the ten men in front of him. By that, I mean that if the team are not playing well, then a goalkeeper will have a lot more to do and goalkeeping is a percentage game.

"If a goalkeeper has ten shots a game to save, then the chances are that one or two might go in, whereas if the team are protecting him well and he only has one or two shots a game, he will be there to save them.

"Touch wood, at this moment in time Jussi has been there and been brilliant when we've needed him to make saves, particularly at Southampton. Away from home, he has been there for us in superb form."

While the whole team has indeed played its part in protecting Jaaskelainen, the Finn was called up on half-a-dozen occasions at Southampton last weekend.

At St Mary's, he was equal to everything the Saints fired at him, making a string of outstanding saves to ensure West Ham left the south coast with a goalless draw and a hard-earned point.

"Location-wise, Jussi has been in the right positions to make the saves," Margetson observed. "When you have played 600-plus games in the Premier League, that obviously helps you, but some of the smaller technical things we try to do have also helped him.

"One thing I try to do as his coach and all the coaches at the Club do is look at the smallest details. I've got clips from Sunday now that will prove to him that, if he keeps on doing what we're working on, he will make a whole lot more saves like that."

Jaaskelainen's outstanding performances are all the more impressive when you consider he is now 38 and was effectively thrown onto the footballing scrapheap midway through the 15th and last season of his successful spell with Bolton Wanderers.

Margetson puts the Finn's renaissance in claret and blue down to his unstinting professionalism.

"Jussi came to us from Bolton having only played about 15 games for them the previous season, 2011/12, having got injured before Christmas and not been able to get back into the side," said the 42-year-old.

"It's been great working with him and I feel as though we're going to kick on again. He played every single game for us last season which, having taken in someone a bit older, was superb, as were his effort and application.

"Credit to him, because you can't stay in the game as long as he has at this level without the attitude and professionalism that he has shown.

"He gives 100 per cent in everything he does, on the grass and in the gym, which helps with prevention of injuries and different things.

"With all the experience we have at the football club in terms of sport science and strength and conditioning, Jussi has bought into all that, which is credit to him because it is definitely beneficial to the modern footballer. A lot of older players are not too sure about this, that and the other and they get set in their ways, but credit to Jussi because he's fully bought into it."

Having got him playing superbly well on a consistent basis, Margetson's next target is to help the No22 to earn a new contract with West Ham.

"My aim this year with Jussi is to have him playing so well that the Club extends his contract. He has that aim as well because his contract is up at the end of the season.

"One of his aims has got to be to play every game for us again this season and hopefully get an extension so he is here next year.

"We want Jussi to carry on for as long as he can, to be fair, but we have Adrian, Stephen Henderson and young Raphael Spiegel and have been building and looking towards the years ahead.

"When Jussi decides to hang his gloves up, we have people here ready to play for West Ham."

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