Clive On Progress

Irish defender Clive Delaney says he is reasonably happy with the progress he is making at the club since signing from University College of Dublin - but knows he still has an awful lot to do.

The 6ft 5ins centre-half signed on a free transfer after the January transfer deadline, though as he was a free agent when he came over, he could technically play for West Ham in the Premiership this campaign.

"As regards the legality of it all I could play for the first team," he confirms.

But that is the furthest thing from his mind right now as he looks to earn a contract beyond this summer - or move to a lower club to continue his career.

Several clubs, both here and in Scotland, were chasing his signature, but his priority is to stay at Upton Park.

"I feel fitness-wise I am certainly getting a lot sharper and adjusting to the tempo a lot better but hopefully I can progress as quickly as possible because I have still got an awful lot to learn," says the former accountancy student.

"It is important that I keep on plugging away and continuing as I have been. I feel I am adjusting over the weeks and I do notice myself getting a little bit fitter, so hopefully that will help me in the games."

He reckons the Hammers will preserve Premiership status, and adds: "It is great; I think there has been a real turnaround since I arrived!

"I think if we keep on going as we are we will stay up, no problem."

Clive came close to scoring for the reserves in their 0-0 draw at Coventry City on Tuesday night, and he adds: "We defended all right, but the conditions weren't ideal on a bit of a bumpy pitch and a slippy enough surface.

"But it was decent to get a clean sheet again.

"I have played in six reserve games now and the majority have been draws, so hopefully we can get a couple of wins now.

"I had a header and probably should have scored, to be honest, but if I keep getting my head on to them I will score eventually."