Gary: Step In The Right Direction

Gary Breen strongly believes that the clean sheet kept against Manchester City can provide the springboard to a revival.

"It is an important platform for us to build on and hopefully we can carry on with those clean sheets - and with the quality we have got attacking wise I am sure we can get the goals in the future," he says, looking back on Saturday's second point of the season.

"I think it is the clean sheets that are going to get us back up the table as opposed to the goals."

He was happy with the way the defence snuffed out the threat of Nicolas Anelka, and adds:

"Anelka is a fantastic player but I felt we coped with him quite well; he only had one chance in the whole game and apart from that we were quite comfortable."

He says the Hammers have not been riding their luck so far this campaign and adds:

"I think that has been the case throughout the season, though we didn't do ourselves justice at Newcastle; against West Brom we were the better team and we matched Tottenham at their place.

"Everything seems to be going against us at the moment but you can't let your heads drop and we will just keep battling.

"On the whole we have defended reasonably well but it seems every time they get a chance it goes in; you get spells like that in the season and hopefully it will even out for us in the coming months."

Diligence is the key, according to Gary, who insists:

"The quality is there but it is about hard work as well; if we work hard it will give the quality the chance to shine through."

He says if needs be the Hammers may have to sacrifice attractive football in order to move up the table.

"Obviously we still want to play a certain way but at the moment I would sacrifice playing flowing football for three points," he explains.

One thing he won't hear criticism of is the fans.

"The fans have been fantastic, to be fair, and it is as frustrating for them as it is for us," he stresses.

"They can see we are playing reasonably well and the lads are saying that we were playing similar last year - and winning.

"It is great to be playing for the fans because they really are right behind the team - they are very vocal and at times they can be like a twelveth man for the team."

Gary is no stranger to the wrong end of the table, and says:

"I am 27 and I have seen it before; there are good times and there are bad times but you just keep working hard, training as hard as possible, and hopefully the pendulum will swing.

"It is very early and yes, it is important to get points on the board as soon as you can in the season - unfortunately we haven't managed to do that.

"I was part of a quality team at Coventry with good players but we didn't start particularly well one year and when we went down it was the weakest team I played in, so it was no shock we got relegated.

"Of course I am worried we are bottom of the league; I didn't come here to be in a relegation dogfight but I look at the players and there is strong mental strength there, strong characters, and that, coupled with the ability that is in the changing room, bodes well for the future.

"But whatever happens we can't rely it happening in two or three weeks, whatever is going to happen has to happen now, and we are doing our utmost.

"The chances are there, though they don't seem to be going in at the moment - but I have confidence we will get the goals."

As for the weeknd, and another attempt to get the first win of the campaign, Gary says:

"I haven't seen much of Chelsea this season, to be honest, but I know it will be a difficult game and I am sure they will be wary of us."

And, of his new partnership with Tomas Repka, he says there are no communication problems.

"His English is excellent - and to be honest, of the things we shout at each other, it is the same in most languages.

"If I am shouting loud he knows someone is close to him and if it is a calm voice he knows he has a bit of time.

"He is very robust - but there are a lot of good defenders here with Ian Pearce and Christian Dailly unfortunately not in the team at the moment, and if myself or Tomas drop standards there are some good players to come in.

"And I feel safe whoever is behind me."