Nigel: Still Going Strong

Nigel Winterburn says that his enthusiasm for the game is as strong as ever - but admits recovery is taking a bit longer than when he started playing.

"I am still really enjoying it, and the games give me a real buzz," he says.

"To recover after the games it probably takes me a day longer than any other player - but if I can join in and train normally I like to.

"You have to test yourself and push yourself to the limit.

"I am feeling okay, pleased to be in the team at the moment, and hopefully I can stay there for a while yet as well."

He was pleased with the performance against his former team mates the previous weekend and says:

"After the Newcastle game where we were all disappointed but it was a positive reaction against Arsenal and everyone played really well.

"Arsenal knew we had given them a good game, and although there were a couple of turning points in the match, we were pleased with the performance overall.

"I spoke to some of their players before and they were expecting a tough game - but I didn't speak to any of them afterwards.

"I think we have done well over the last three games against them, even though we lost 2-0 at Highbury last season, when we could have got something from that - but a goal was disallowed, and it wasn't until late on that they pushed us to a defeat.

"It is more about what we are going to do now, and it is important to put that sort of performance in week in, week out, and show we can do it away from home as well.

"We did well against the top teams last season and of the top six I think only Manchester United beat us at home.

"We coped with, if you like, the smaller teams - if there are any small teams in the Premiership - and we have set the standards for the home performances.

"Hopefully when we travel for our next away game people might see a different performance from us from the Newcastle one."

Nigel says that his team mates are not despondent at not picking up more than the odd point thus far, and reveals:

"The atmosphere is very good anyway, especially after Saturday's performance, and with two home games coming up, though we will give the teams respect, if we can reproduce the Arsenal performance I don't think we will go too far wrong.

"If we can keep our home form from last season and the game last week, and start producing better performances away from home, I don't think there will be problems, and we will be able to finish higher than we did last season.

"I think everybody's aim is to get 40 points and then try and crack on from there to improve and beat last season's target."