Kitson: Here's Hoping

West Ham's modest hat-trick hero Paul Kitson says he does not even know if he will be picked for Saturdays's game against Tottenham.

Despite grabbing a fantastic treble in his first start for the club since February 2000 - ironically his first senior goals since scoring on loan for Charlton against Crystal Palace in March 2000 - he admits: "I don't know what the situation is with Fredi but I can only do what I have done on Monday night, and if I play, that is great."

Fredi Kanoute, whose place Paul took at the Valley, was having a scan on Tuesday to determine the extent of the hamstring injury which ruled him out.

And Paul says modestly: "It is a squad game but hopefully I can keep my place - of course I'd like to play on Saturday."

Paul declined an offer to go in front of the Sky cameras to receive his man of the match award after the game and admits: "I don't speak to cameras, that's just not me - but I have got the match ball."

Indeed, he reveals that his personal satisfaction was somewhat tempered by the fact that his hat trick failed to help the Hammers to all three points, and he says: "To be honest I was a bit disappointed at the end, having been 4-3 up in injury time, but from a personal point of view it would have been great to get one, never mind three.

"It was a dream but at the same time disappointing not to have won the game."

The game really thrust Paul back in the spotlight after such a long time out, and he adds: "It has been very hard because of the the amount of people that come up and say 'oh, are you still at West Ham?' - it is annoying and frustrating.

"But you can't let it get to you too much and you just have to take the chance as it comes; you never know when that opportunity is going to arrive so I have just stayed fit and it paid off.

"As soon as I came to West Ham I scored goals and for me personally, I have got nothing to prove because I have always scored goals wherever I have been.

"I have scored seven goals in four games so I was always confident because I have been fit and sharp.

"I am delighted for Glenn who gave me a chance; being out does get to you a little bit but you keep working hard in training.

"I have always got on well with Glenn and when he took over I knew I would get an opportunity.

"I am confident in my own ability so it has never been a problem, though in yourself you are a little bit nervous - but not to the extent where you don't want the ball, or you are hiding."

He admits to having had a few niggling injuries in the last 18 months, but adds: "Every player gets injured but nothing that kept me out for a long period; Glenn has put me on the bench, something that wasn't happening last season, and that has been a bonus.

"I have tried to do my best for him and I am ready to play in all the games; I feel sharp.

"Since I have been involved, at least on the bench, it has given me a buzz and more confidence.

"And the lads are obviously delighted for me because they know what I have gone through in the last year and a half."

With his contract up in the summer, he reveals there have yet to be negotiations about a new deal, but he says: "I have never said I wanted to leave but I haven't gone in to knock on Glenn's door because I haven't really been playing; I have just got on with my training and the reserve games.

"I don't want to force the issue but if the club want me, then that is great."

He says he has not let the disappointments of recent times affect his home life, however, and adds: "I don't take it home with me; you just do what you do at the training ground and that is it; I don't want to dwell on the past."