Steve's Delight

Steve Lomas admits people would have said he was crazy if he had predicted finishing seventh a couple of months into the season.

"If you look at the first two months and said you were going to finish seventh a lot of people would have said you were crazy, especially with probably one of the smallest squads in the league," he says.

"It is a great achievement for the lads who have played nearly every game, like Tomas, or Christian who did play every match.

"With suspensions and injuries that is a great achievement, and for Christian, who had a bit of criticism at the start of the season, he rode that well and then showed he is a good solid defender and a very good pro.

"As for me, I will have a little rest now and come back later in the summer."

Looking at the win which took the Hammers to seventh, and allowed him to score his fourth goal of an injury-ravaged season, he says: "It was not one of the best. I thought we missed a lot of chances and if you don't put your chances away it comes back to haunt you, like we have seen in the last couple of games.

"Jermain had a good shot and it has fallen nicely for me so I am delighted.

"I am getting a lot more licence to go forward now and with a higher percentage rate sometimes you go on these little runs and they fall for you.

"I didn't have too much time to think about it. I was just pleased when it flew in the back of the net, but at 1-1 we were totally distraught at how they had got back in the game."

Steve is hoping for a change in fortunes next season and adds: "2001 was a total write-off for me so hopefully I have had my fair share of injuries and I will go on a little run. I am only 28 so I hope I have got some injury free years ahead."

He is also delighted that Glenn Roeder made such a success of his first season and adds: "Glenn is delighted to get seventh in his first season and it is probably beyond his wildest dreams - for such a small squad it is a major achievement.

"It is difficult, and it is about the consistency factor. For us that is about the away form because you can't continue the sort of home form we have had, that would be impossible.

"For three years it was very good and then last year the away form actually picked up, which is one of the major pluses.

"It was very nice to finish seventh; it was as good as we could have expected this year."

Steve weighing in with some goals when he returned to action was augmented by a couple of vital ones from Ian Pearce upon his return - the equaliser at Spurs followed by the first goal West Ham scored this campaign from a corner in the final minute of the season.

Says Steve: "Big Pearcey adds a bit more height to set pieces and it is good that way."