Foxe Can't Wait

Former Hammer Hayden Foxe insists West Ham will climb out of their current predicament - and is looking forward to playing at Upton Park in February.

Hayden is determined to regain his place in the Australia side in time for the prestigious friendly, the first time the Aussies have played a full international in this country.

Hayden, who still keeps in touch with his old team mates, and particularly Trevor Sinclair, Scott Minto, and Christian Dailly, says: "With it being at Upton Park where I have got a lot of good friends it would be nice to get back there and play a game - it would bring back some good memories.

"It would be weird going into the away changing room but I would love being back in the east end of London.

"I am playing week in week out again now, and to get in the national team of Australia you have to do that whereas a few years ago there weren't so many players overseas and the team picked itself.

"There is such a wide selection now."

Hayden, of course, rejoined Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth in the summer and he adds: "We started the season well but then I picked up a bit of a tendon injury in my hamstring which is a bit of a shame; I was out for nine weeks, but I have played the last two games now.

"Because things are going well everyone is in a happy mood; it has been very easy for me to settle in, just like when I was at West Ham.

"They are a good bunch of blokes and it is a good family club as well, similar to West Ham, although it obviously isn't the Premiership.

"When I first joined I knew Harry's intentions were to bring in some players, and the ones he has got have been tremendous, with the likes of Paul Merson, Steve Stone, Gianluca Festa, and obviously Shaka as well - all from the Premiership.

"I have been surprised, but not that surprised, that we have played so well - and when we haven't played well we have still been winning, which is a good sign.

"Hopefully we will be playing West Ham in the Premiership next season, and it would be great to be drawn against them in the cup this one.

"I didn't want to drop down because I want to play at the highest level, but sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward and hopefully that is what I have done down here.

"We have got the start we needed and I hope we will be in the Premiership next year."

As for West Ham's predicament, he says: "I still speak to a number of the boys at West Ham and I can't believe what is happening but I still firmly believe they will finish above mid-table - they have got too much quality and too good a team.

"They have had no luck, but it might have just turned for them on Sunday when otherwise a chance at the end would have gone in for Manchester United.

"Maybe that is the change of fortune that they needed and I can see them picking up points and moving up that ladder now - there is no chance of them going down."

Hayden reckons that Richard Garcia could eventually force his way into the full Australia side and says: "Richard is a good player; he has been away from Australia for a long time now so I don't know if they know of his whereabouts but every time they have spoken to me about Richard I have always given them a good report.

"He is quick and strong and has got all the attributes - he is definitely worthy of a chance but he is only young, and he has a bright future."

Meanwhile - will Hayden be out partying at Christmas this year following last year's infamous incident?

"Of course. I am not going to sit back and do nothing, but I won't be making the same mistake as I did last year, obviously," he says.

"I don't think I will make that mistake again - you have to learn by your mistakes.

"But you have got to be involved at the Christmas party for a bit of team bonding. All the players together, at a joyous time as well - so I will be there!"