Rufus: Huddle Helps

Rufus Brevett says that the group 'huddle' that the players have adopted before the start of both halves helps the players focus on the task in hand.

"We are all in it together, and we are all after the same results. It just reminds us what is at stake," he says of the new ritual that Joe Cole instigated when he took over the captaincy.

But it is not just Joe who does the talking when the players gather, and Rufus reveals: "Everyone has a say in it and it is good."

He says that it has helped the players get going right from the off in both halves, and adds: "It is hard if you start slow to pick it up. You have got to get out of the blocks quick and that is what we have been doing in the last three or four games, whereas if you look at the game against Liverpool we were 2-0 down after 10 minutes, and we can't afford to let that happen.

"We have to get going and let the other team know that we mean business as such."

It has taken more than the huddles to cause the recent improvement, though, and Rufus adds: "The quality of the football has been good and that is how West Ham can play.

"I have played against them and they have been brought up on good football.

"I think we have shown in the last few games what we can do, with a little bit of hard work as well.

"Without hard work you are not going to get anything, so the work factor is there and we have the players to pass the ball and score goals."

Looking to Saturday, he says: "It is going to be a very difficult match. They have got a very good manager in Gordon Strachan who demands hard work.

"But we have got to match them man for man and hopefully with the players we have got with flair up front and in midfield we can punish them.

"All we can do is worry about ourselves. We have still got Bolton and Birmingham to play and all we can do is keep playing the way we are and keeping clean sheets to give ourselves a great chance.

He was delighted at another clean sheet against Sunderland and says: "It was a very good win and one we couldn't afford to lose. All the lads responded well and all the hard training stood us in good stead because a few things were worked out which came off."