Hayden's Regret

Hayden Foxe says he is going to put recent events behind him as he looks to force his way into first team reckoning.

Hayden's indiscretion at the recent players' Christmas party has perhaps been over-exaggerated in some quarters - but he admits he was wrong and aims to put the matter to bed.

"What I did was wrong and it got blown right out of proportion as if it was a huge, huge event," he says, "but all the boys were really good to me and stuck by me.

"The spotlight is on, especially at Christmas time, about what the lads are doing; I regret it and I want to forget it now, put it behind me, and get on with it.

"There were no fights or yelling of abuse or anything; you do have a few drinks at your Christmas party and I'm not saying that to promote drinking, but it was a case of the lads enjoying themselves.

"Some people are taking it light hearted and some are taking it the other way.

"I apologised to the club, the players, and of course it embarrassed my family because it got back to Australia as well, but I can't turn back the clock even though it's something I'm definitely not proud of.

"The main thing is that I'm fit and ready and when I'm called on I am ready to play; I have been training every day and putting the hard work in and it is a good sign that I'm not in the side because it means the team is playing well, even though I want to be playing.

"It is tough competition for spots and that can only be healthy for the club."

He acknowledges that footballers are under the spotlight like never before, and adds:

"People always want a story and there is so much publicity about the game; you hear a lot about Christmas parties and people getting sent off but there is a lot of good that goes on in football that you don't hear about.

"Both from our club and others there are players doing charity work and when asked I always do it.

"When you see kids that are unwell you think how lucky your life is and how their lives, and that of their families, must be murder.

"I always help out a charity and do a visit."

He says the team spirit at West Ham has helped him stay focused on the football, and adds:

"There is really good team comradeship here and it is important that happens; the boys enjoy themselves on and off the field and we are all mates, which helps; it is one of the important factors in a team that they are able to play together.

"If a mate of mine gets kicked or punched you want to stick up for them and work harder for them - that's normal.

"I said when I first arrived here that I had a really good feeling about the place because not only do they play really good football, but off the field it is a really good club and a genuine set of blokes; whenever something happens the boys really stick behind you.

"And the fans are quality; when you lose they talk as if they have lost as well because they feel a part of it and are down until the next match, and when you are out there you feel that they are part of you as well.

"I have never experienced anything like it."

He says on the field it is a really tight unit - even if that is hampering his first team chances at the moment.

"It has been a really good run starting from the two front men all the way back to Jamo," he admits.

"You look at the run we've had and the games we've had to play, not many teams pick up three points at Old Trafford, and we defended well and passed the ball well, which is the West Ham we know.

"There is a good cohesion now amongst the guys with two good solid banks of four.

"I'm not going anywhere; I want to be playing more but it is a good sign that you can't get in the team, as I said."

And he defends Paolo Di Canio, facing an accusation from a Leicester steward following an alleged push after Paolo scored the equaliser at Filbert Street.

"He scored a great pen and it took some bottle to do that; all he did was celebrate the goal," he says.