Keen's Hammers Hope

Defeated Macclesfield veteran Kevin Keen is hoping that the Hammers go all the way in the FA Cup this year.

"The former West Ham winger, who played for the Silkmen in central midfield on Sunday, is hoping to get to Cardiff for the FA Cup final in May if West Ham reach it.

"I am still a fan, without doubt, and I would love to see them win the FA Cup this year," he says.

"I enjoyed playing against Joe Cole - he looks to have a nice character and is a friendly person.

"It was nice to battle against him and I had a couple of tugs at him in the match!

"I hope he has a super future and goes on and scores the winner for West Ham in the FA Cup final this year."

Another player who caught Kevin's eye was, inevitably, Jermain Defoe, and Kevin says: "That's the first time I have seen him, and if he wants to come on loan to Moss Rose we might be able to afford a couple of hundred quid a week for him!

"It was a super display of finishing and he was the difference on the day between us and them.

"I have to say, though, if you look at Devonshire and Bonzo - people incomparable to me - they would be worth so much money if they were playing today."

Kevin was on West Ham's books by the time Jermain was born, but there was one former team-mate on the field in claret and blue at the weekend - John Moncur - and Kevin adds: "I spoke to Moncs, though obviously he shot off just before the end!

"The first time I played against him I was 12 years old in schoolboy football, so I have been playing against him for ages.

"Pottsy was up there in the squad, and it was nice to see Ludo and Paul Goddard as well, so it was great to meet them again - I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Ludo, in fact, remarked that Kevin is even skinnier now than when he played for West Ham a decade ago.

Perhaps that is why he kept well out of it when the fracas that followed a mistimed challenge by John Moncur broke out, and he smiles: "You know me - if there is a melee I am as far away as possible, and I just let the rough and tough ones get on with it - not me."

He was delighted with the reception he got from the travelling fans during the game - generous applause when he went to take his first corner at the Hammers' end.

""That meant a lot to me," he says, "obviously I didn't know what sort of reception I would get but it was nice to take a corner and get applauded like that - and I thank them for it.

"It means they must appreciate what I did for them at West Ham and still remember it, so that's good.

"I did enjoy it; it was a big day for me with all my family there and a lot of friends as well.

"It was a good day but a disappointing result, but I think we acquitted ourselves not badly, played quite well in the first half, and could have gone in front.

"But I am realistic enough to know that things don't always end up as you want them to - we are a third division club playing against a Premiership team."

He hopes the day has a beneficial effect for the club, whose supporters were generally disappointed to hear of Paolo Di Canio's absence through illness and injury.

"Our average crowd is 2,000 people and, if we can retain 500 of those present at today's game and push it to 2,500, it would be great for the club," he concludes.