Michael: For The Fans

Michael Carrick says that his penalty winner at Chesterfield was his way of repaying the fans for their support of him through difficult times.

Michael coolly slotted home the fifth penalty at Saltergate to give the Hammers a third round draw in the Worthington Cup after a 1-1 extra time result, but could have been excused for choosing not to put himself in the firing line after a difficult period of late.

But it was his desire to give something back to the supporters as much as his delight at being restored to the first team for the last two matches that gave him the strength to step up for the decisive spot-kick on Tuesday night, and he says: "The gaffer had asked who wanted to take the fifth penalty - and you have to be big, strong, and take your chances.

"After everything that has gone on, and the fans have been brilliant to me in the last couple of weeks, I just wanted to repay them.

"My thoughts were simply 'just score' and I just passed it into the net.

"It made it a bit easier that the fans were at that end, even though you don't really look up, and I am just glad for them and everyone else at the club that we are through.

"You can't really decide in advance who is taking them, it is all about who is up for it and some lads were carrying knocks and didn't want to take one."

Michael says the game itself could have been won without recourse to those spot kicks, and adds: "In the first half we were creating a lot of chances but you have to make them count.

"We made it hard for ourselves but we showed a lot of character, I think.

"Jermain's goal showed great movement - that is what he is all about - and we had plenty more efforts blocked or saved by their keeper.

"But that is what cup football is all about and I am just grateful we are through.

"At full time Glenn just said we had to be more ruthless around the box and that otherwise we were playing well, but anyway, we still got through and that is the main thing."

The draw for round three is on Saturday afternoon, and Michael says: "I don't mind who we get but we would like a home draw - we feel we can beat anyone there, though we haven't done too badly away this week..."