Seb: Pressure Eased

Sebastien Schemmel says life is fantastic following the first home win of the season - and insists the victory has lifted the spirits of all the players.

At the 13th attempt, the Hammers have now won at home - and Seb says that should be the springboard to take the first Premiership victory at Upton Park.

"I don't remember the last one because it was so long ago but I enjoyed the game because we won," he admits, "and I think it is fair to say the first match of 2003 was a good one.

"And the fans were unbelievably brilliant - I was sure there would only be 20,000 fans there, but it was full and the game was great, so it is a good start for the new year."

Seb's attentions are now turning to the home game with Newcastle and he adds:

"Saturday is a different game but we need to keep winning, whether it is 3-2, 4-3, or whatever.

"Newcastle was the first home win of last season if you remember, and they are not very strong away, so it is a good moment to have them.

"At the moment West Ham are playing better so I am very confident for next week and if Jermain scores with his nose that will do me - I just want a win because it is one of the most important games of the year."

Newcastle were West Ham's first opponents of the campaign, and the 4-0 scoreline remains the only game in the top flight this season that has been won by such a margin.

"The first game was terrible for us and Newcastle weren't much better," recalls Seb.

"4-0 didn't represent the real game - maybe 1-0 would have - but we need revenge, and if it is just 1-0 with a s*** goal so be it.

"Against Blackburn we scored in the last couple of minutes and we did it in the last five minutes against Forest; that is good for the mentality of the team.

"It was good for the confidence and it will make next week much easier; it is not the same now."

The draw recently against Fulham was compared by one reporter to be like Groundhog Day - just a repetition of what has gone on before with the win remaining elusive - but for Seb it is more a case of It's A Wonderful Life.

"For me, I don't want to have pressure, and with this win the pressure has left; I feel like a new player starting the season," he says.

"We have started now and I am so happy - I slept well on Saturday, went back to France for two days with my family, and I am enjoying things.

"The first objective now is to beat Newcastle and that win was so important in helping that - for just one week the team can forget the first six months and now we can move on."

Seb admits West Ham rode their luck, and says:

"We missed some good chances in the first half and their first goal was not good, but to be honest 2-2 would have been a fair reflection.

"I want to say that Nottingham Forest are an unbelievable side who never stopped playing good football and for me it was a pleasure to play a team like that, but I hope that first win for us is not the last one."

There was no doubt in Seb's mind about the disallowed goal, though, that denied Forest a replay near the end, and Seb says:

"It was the fault of the number 11 and it was not possible for the ref to do nothing about it; I was in the line of vision and he definitely pushed Christian - it was the same kind of push as the penalty kick they were given."

David James, meanwhile, is determined to bounce back after what he considers a disappointing first goal on Saturday when a cross left his grasp and ended up being turned in by Marlon Harewood.

"I will take stock of the situation," he says, "and I don't want to go down the line of conceding bad goals to win games.

"The team spirit showed and it was an opportunity to put that home record behind us; recent games have been drawn, as opposed to lost, but it was good to get a win."

He is looking forward to working with some new faces when Glenn Roeder's planned recruits arrive, and he concludes:

"I don't know who the players are - but it will be nice to have some more competition at the club."