Garcia Grateful

Richard Garcia says he is enjoying the season from a personal point of view - even though he has not yet made the breakthrough to a regular place on the first team bench yet.

Richard scored a spectacular goal in the reserves' 4-0 win over Wimbledon this week, his fifth of the campaign, and says: "It was a strike from outside the box and I was pretty pleased with it. All the boys played really well and I think 4-0 was a deserved result."

Bournemouth recently made an enquiry about taking Richard on loan, but he says: "If you go on loan you are playing with men, but if you are training with the first team every day I am sure you are going to pick up good habits. Hopefully that rubs off and I can become a first team player.

"If the gaffer is just happy for me to stay I'm happy to stay - I am just waiting for my chance, really.

"There are a lot of young lads and even the players that are making the first team are playing really well. Everyone is fighting for that first team spot.

"Hopefully I can push up onto the bench and get a game as I have been in the squad for most of this season."

With John Moncur suspended for the next two games, and Michael Carrick having been out of the last three games with a knee injury sustained against Liverpool, is Richard hopeful of at least a place on the bench this weekend?

"I think Michael might be fit for Sunday," he says, "and hopefully he will be back in the side and helping us get three points."

Richard is urging his team mates to emulate Manchester United, who have won every game since the Hammers beat them in December.

That coincided with West Ham embarking on their best run of the season, a six match unbeaten run that ended in defeat at Elland Road two weeks ago.

It has helped push the Hammers to 11th spot, six points behind sixth placed Chelsea, and Richard adds: "The boys have got a little run going and that's what you need to do. Look at Manchester United, everyone was writing them off and now they have won seven in a row.

"Hopefully the boys can get another run going and work our way up because I don't see why Europe is not a reasonable aim if the boys keep playing the way they have been.

"The performances against the top sides like Man. United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been very, very encouraging."