Scott's Great Hope

Scott Minto is hoping that fortune favours the brave on Wednesday night against Aston Villa.

He insists that the Hammers deserved something from their trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, and hopes that the side have a little more luck against John Gregory's men.

"You always need a bit of luck, allied with hard work and good play; we had two out of three and hopefully we will get the third on Wednesday," he says.

"Maybe there are a few teams that could say their talent justifies a higher league position, but it is not just about talent.

"We put in the hard work as well on Saturday and I just feel that we were very unlucky.

"The first goal is crucial to any game and we just need one to go in off the backside or a ricochet - anything.

"I don't think anybody could fault us about how the game went on Saturday but it is just unfortunate that we had a few chances to score and didn't put them away, while they had one and did.

"We might have deserved a win - the lads are absolutely gutted because we had some really good chances to score, although to be fair their keeper made some really great saves.

"We were very solid at the back and it was the perfect away performance, but we let it slip with five minutes to go and you can't afford to give Kevin Phillips any chances.

"It showed how well we defended as a team because that was the only opportunity he got all day.

"I thought we played really well; we knew they wanted to knock the high ball up to Niall Quinn and I thought we coped with that.

"And we got the ball down in midfield to pass it well, so the lads are absolutely gutted."

Of the goal itself, he says: "I think Trevor did some really good defending work to win the ball and was just about to hoof it up the line when he slipped, unfortunately.

"That caught us off guard, Kevin Phillips made a great run and got in there just before David James."

Scott is delighted to have played three games on the trot but knows that, with Nigel Winterburn expected back this week, his place could be threatened.

"We'll see what happens," he smiles. "I'm still finding my Premiership fitness - I've been out for a long time and it takes a long time to get it back.

"I feel as if I'm coping pretty well at the moment and every game I'm getting stronger and stronger."