Nigel: Aim High

Nigel Winterburn says that the club must aim for Europe next season after just missing out this campaign.

"I think every club has their own ambitions and this club had a big change in the summer, but I said before I thought this team was capable of getting into Europe and I still believe that is a realistic aim over the next couple of seasons," he insists.

"It would be disappointing for the club if they keep all the players they have got and don't finish in Europe.

"But obviously they have got to try and find some money from somewhere to add to the squad.

"It was another good result for us on Saturday, we have finished in seventh place, and I'd like to say I could be back next season and we are looking to improve on that.

"But it doesn't look like that is going to happen, so I am disappointed because I feel okay and have played a lot of games for the club this season."

As an ex-Arsenal player, Nigel knows all about rivalry with Spurs, and how half the stadium was listening to find out how they were doing as they competed for seventh place by attempting to beat Leicester City.

He says: "I was not really aware, it was just the half time thing and then the atmosphere just before Bolton scored gave an idea Spurs might be drawing or losing.

"But you are never sure until the final whistle because lots of things go round a stadium when you are playing a game.

"The important thing for us was to work hard on the day or all the hard work would have been spoiled."

Nigel admits he was emotional when he left the pitch at the end of the game knowing that, barring a change of decision, it was his last game for the Hammers.

"It is always sad to leave when you are still playing a major part for a team, but there is no bitterness," he says.

"I am just a little bit disappointed because I would have liked to have stayed, and I would have taken a wage cut as well, because I want to be part of the squad.

"Things are happening here and it would have been fantastic just to have been involved for another season, but these things happen.

"The only thing I can persuade the club with is my performances. Hopefully, since I have been told I was leaving, they were still good enough, and I have been in the team quite a bit.

"You never know what might happen but it is looking very unlikely that I will stay at the moment. I am just pleased with the way this season has gone after the bad start we had because a lot of people were knocking us and expecting us to get relegated.

"I will speak to Glenn on Wednesday and after that we will see what happens. The only thing for sure from my point of view is that I will be playing football next season.

"I have never insisted on playing in the team because you have to earn that right, I just wanted to be part of the squad for next season.

"From my point of view if that meant taking less money to be part of the squad I was prepared to do that, and I still would be, but these decisions are taken away from me."