Richard's At Home

Richard Garcia picked up the first win bonus of his Hammers career on Saturday - and finally got to play in front of the home fans.

After his full debut at Bolton a fortnight previously, Richard grabbed a few, albeit enforced, minutes against Middlesbrough after Steve Lomas limped off with a knee injury.

His other previous outings have been in defeats at Reading on penalties in the Worthington Cup, and at Leeds in a 3-0 defeat.

"At last I have made that home debut," he says. "I only got a little time but it was good to get the experience, and the atmosphere was certainly there with it all kicking off after the red card."

Richard has no doubts the sending off was justified and adds: "He had to go; we were three on two and it would probably have been a goal."

As for his own contribution in the seven minutes he was on, he nearly set up Jermain Defoe for what could well have been a second goal of the afternoon.

"Unfortunately I didn't slip it through - though I did the hard part," he says of his tricky turn through two Boro players that belied his lack of experience at top level.

Richard is keen to thank his work colleagues for making the transition from reserves to first team easier, and says: "Hopefully I can see the season out like that. The boys have tried to make me feel part of it all year so now stepping into the first team doesn't make it feel such a big deal.

"All the boys and the gaffer have really helped me progress so it has been good in that sense as well."

Richard has been offered a new contract at the club - his current deal runs out shortly - and he says: "It is encouraging that the club have said they want to keep me for another few years and there won't be any problems signing."