Hayden's Tough Time

Hayden Foxe admits it has been a "torrid" season for him - but acknowledges that the form of Christian Dailly and Tomas Repka in the heart of the defence has conspired to keep him out of the side.

Hayden's immediate aim is to get back to fitness before the season is out, and he explains: "I've got tendonitis. John Green and Webbo are doing a good job and hopefully I can get a couple of games in by the end of the season because it has been a bit of a torrid one.

"It is six weeks now, since just after the Bolton game, and it is quite frustrating.

"In terms of team performance, it has been a good season after starting off slowly - we found our gear and have been playing well to get the points we really need but, personally, it hasn't been a very good season as I have only made seven or eight appearances.

"The thing is, I want to play first team football like anyone, and as a professional my attitude shouldn't be any different. I want to play week in, week out - but, having said that, Christian and Tomas have been having quite good seasons and playing well.

"Sometimes you have to wait for a bit of bad luck for them to get a chance, but you certainly don't wish that on anyone. Hopefully I can get a chance and keep my spot."

On top of that, Hayden recently was up at the FA on a charge relating to the scuffle he had with Barry Hayles of Fulham back in November.

He was totally exonerated for his part, and says: "It was pretty straightforward. I went in, answered a couple of questions, watched the video, and then I was straight out again - it was very fair."

Talking of the incident itself, he says: "There was nothing in it really, it was just a body check and it's part and parcel of the game, then he took a swing at me and clipped me across the jaw.

"My first reaction is when you get hit, you really want to punch as well, but you have to remember you are on the football pitch and you can't do things like that.

"I just restrained myself to words, and the FA are not going to send me back to Australia on the boat in orange overalls!

"Barry pleaded guilty to the charge if I'm not mistaken, but I didn't see him. If I had seen him I'd have said hello and got on with it.

"These things happen in football, and once you come back across the white line again everyone is friends."

Hayden is critical of the time it took to bring about the charge, however, and adds: "Barry could have missed the FA Cup Final if Fulham had made it - which I wouldn't have wished on him - and I'm just wondering why it took so long for the hearing to take place when it happened at the beginning of November.

"That was four months ago - and they didn't bring the charge until January.

"I had nearly forgotten about the incident, and only watching the video refreshed my mind on what happened."

As for his future, Hayden, who still has two years to run on his contract and now faces added competition in the form of Ian Pearce for a centre half slot, says: "I want to stay at West Ham. I like everything about the club, but then again I really want to be playing first team football, so it is a difficult one to judge.

"I'm settled at West Ham, my wife likes it here, and I have got plenty of friends around.

"Everyone here is such a good person among the players and the other staff as well, so it is tough.

"You get knocked in the jaw, and you have to get back up and keep going. The easy option is to say 'bugger it, I'm off' but the tough decision is to stay and battle it out.

"I have talked to Glenn throughout the season, and he and the staff persistently tell me what I'm doing right and wrong, to help me out with everything, because my attitude is to keep working."

As for his thoughts on Nigel Winterburn, with whom he has played, leaving the club, he says: "It's quite an age to play in the Premiership, and he has he has had a great year."