Paul Proud

Paul Goddard puts much of West Ham's recent success down to the efforts of Steve Lomas.

"It's been great to have Steve back recently," he says. "He has given us a lot of the steel and the drive that we need along with our flair players, and that has been key."

While acknowledging that Steve rarely hits the headlines, he adds: "I don't read or listen too much to what people say. We form our own opinion, and Steve Lomas is a vital part of our plans, and we know that his contribution to the team is vital.

"Everyone has different qualities to bring to the party, as such, and we are very grateful for his.

"We have a lot of individual players who can do individual things, but we do need a few players that can win the ball for them. It is not a coincidence we have been winning of late with him.

"But it is down to everybody, from the David James all the way through."

Paul is looking for another midfielder who has had injury problems, Michael Carrick, to finish the season with a flourish, and says: "Michael has had another game back after his injury. He had a long time out then went straight back in the deep end when he came back.

"The performances are slowly improving. He didn't start the Charlton game that well but got better and better as the game went on.

"The next England squad is announced on Saturday. There seem to be so many, but I think Michael deserves an opportunity to show what he can do at that level, and I'm sure Mr. Eriksson will want to have a look at him.

"It would be a fantastic achievement if we could get all four in there - they are all working extremely hard, as everyone is, and that's why we've achieved such good results recently."

Overall, says Paul, the mood at the club is good, and he concludes: "There are a lot of smiling faces, everyone is pleased to go to work, and we are certainly looking forward to Saturday."