Richard Robbed

Richard Garcia rues the fact that his recent injury problems have robbed him of a chance to play in Australia's international clash against England at Upton Park on February 12.

Richard, who has had three stress fractures in the shin, says: "I had a few weeks back home and pretty much the only thing I could do was rest.

"Now I am getting back into it and I will be training in about a week - and hopefully there will be no recurrence of the injury, and I can get back to training and playing again.

"I had a scan the other week and they said it looks pretty good so I am just looking forward to training, and I hope nothing goes wrong.

"I would have loved to have been involved over Christmas with the squad and the team but unfortunately every footballer has injuries and, although it is always unwelcome, you have to take the good with the bad.

"It would have been nice to get a run out over that period, but it is just unfortunate I had my injury at that particular time.

"I am disappointed to have got this injury because if I had made a few more appearances maybe I might have had a chance to be involved in the international, but being out didn't help my chances of playing in what is a historical game."

As far as a comeback goes, he says: "There is a reserve game in the week but I should be able to play in the one after that. I will have to see how the training goes first."

Richard, when he does return, faces stiffer competition in midfield since the signing of Lee Bowyer, but he has no complaints about that.

"It makes the squad stronger," he says, "and I think that is just what we need - it is more difficult for me but the main thing is the club staying up and doing well.

"I think we needed to strengthen the squad in that respect."

As for the relegation battle, he says: "We have been saying all season that we shouldn't be where we are and results just don't go our way.

"But I think the boys are adamant that they can get out of it, and we have a good enough side to do so - it is just a matter of getting results.

"At the moment I am injured so I can't do anything about it - but I will be trying my hardest to get back into the team and hopefully get a few starts.

"That was my goal for the season but so far I haven't really been involved as much as I was last year - which has been a bit disappointing.

"But I have to just keep working and hopefully I will get my chance. Once that happens I will show what I can do."

Richard, who has 18 months left on his contract, adds: "I have another season after this, but if I am not doing it here and they don't want to keep me hopefully I can do it somewhere else.

"I would love it to be at West Ham though, and it is all down to me - we will see how things go."