Nigel Hopeful

Nigel Winterburn says he will only know when he has come through a full game if he has put his hamstring problem fully behind him.

Nigel, who hopes to be selected again against Aston Villa on Wednesday evening, admits: "You can never be 100% sure with a hamstring until you have got through the first 90 minutes but I have trained for the last three or four days and it feels fine, though the test will come when I play my first game.

"It is something that you are never sure of. I have come back from hamstrings before and trained for a whole week, then gone into my first competitive game and my hamstring has gone again.

"Hopefully this time it won't happen, I will last the game, and there will be no further problems.

"Even though you can push yourself in training there is nothing like playing a game in the Premiership, and you just don't know what is going to happen, but you can't pull out of any tackles, and you have to be fully committed.

"You just really hope it is going to be okay for 90 minutes. It is not in the back of your mind, it is a case of playing the game, giving 100% and going for it full out."

If West Ham play  a 4-4-2 formation Nigel will be looking to oust Scott Minto, who has played the last three games, from the side, but he says: "I'd love to play against Villa - at this stage of my career I haven't got enough time to be sitting out of the team but I shall have to wait and see what Glenn does on Wednesday, and whether he puts me back in the team or not.

"It is always disappointing when you are injured and the only thing you can hope for is to get fit really quickly and hope the team keeps winning - but unfortunately that didn't happen.

"No games are easy now in the Premiership but I'd have expected us to take a few more points in the last three games, so obviously the Aston Villa game becomes doubly important.

"It is frustrating but these things do happen and you just have to get on with it and try to get back in the team."

Of the Villa contest, he says: "They have been doing fantastically well this season, though the last two games have been disappointing for them; but that could mean they have to bounce back fairly quickly from a couple of bad results if they are to finish high up the table.

"But we need the three points because we are too near the bottom of the league, and we've got to win to pull us away from that a bit.

"It's frustrating in the sense that if we'd have picked up points after winning the three games we'd be in mid-table but now there is more pressure on us to get the win.

"If we win the home game against Villa it is gives us a big lift for the next game, and then if you go on and get some more points from that we are looking at the middle of the table rather than the bottom of the league.

"It is no good continuing to say we shouldn't be down there because that is where we are - and we need to pull ourselves away from it."

17/2 is on offer for West Ham repeating their last League success (2-1 win) over Aston Villa - click here for more details.