David's Delight

David James has cut through all the analysis of the win against Blackburn Rovers to declare that the victory has provided the players with two vital sentiments: relief and belief.

"It feels very good, the win was vitally important and the fact we have jumped a couple of places was fantastic - and it meant there was a good mood in the changing room at last," he says.

"It has been a long time coming and I think you could tell by the fans' reaction that there was a lot of relief - and belief."

David is not, he says, a superstitious man - but he might just be wearing the same suit on Sunday for the visit of Liverpool as he did on Wednesday, as he goes in search of a second home league win of the season.

The relief at getting that first home Premiership win - at the 13th attempt - was there for all to see as he celebrated with team mates on the final whistle which confirmed that 1,169 minutes of Upton Park frustration had come to an end on Wednesday night.

The first SENIOR win of the season was, of course, against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup - the 13th match, overall, of the campaign.

Wednesday night saw Paolo Di Canio returning as talisman - in his 13th League match of the season - and there are, er, 13 games to go.

Adds David: "I am not superstitious - but I will wear the same suit again on Sunday!"

In those 13 games, he says, seven more wins are needed, and he explains: "We have 13 games now and we needed at least seven wins before Blackburn, so we have got one - and the sooner we get to seven the better.

"But it is a tall order with only four wins in 24 games - statistically it might not be in our favour, but at the same time we have not had the team we have now with people fit, and provided we keep people fit I am confident we will have a better edge."

Looking at the reasons for breaking the duck, David says: "Paolo's return speaks for itself, but the comment was made afterwards that we had a decent bench - and that is no disrespect to the previous benches.

"But at a crucial time in the game the gaffer has made changes and brought potential first team starting players on as substitutes.

"That is what we have been lacking, I think, for the majority of this season - Jermain got the goal, Fredi did his bit, and Trevor got a run.

"Jermain has got a habit of doing that, coming on to score; you can say it was good managerial skills and determination from the substitutes, and between the three of them they have changed the game.

"We had Paolo back, we had Fredi back, and we could rest Jermain - but he came on to score and that is Jermain through and through."

David is full of praise for the way the young striker reacted to being on the bench on Wednesday, and adds: "This season will make him stronger provided we stay up - the experience of going down would be bad for anyone.

"Jermain has been through a very tough spell for West Ham Football Club, but if it had had a detrimental effect on him he would have come on and not scored.

"He took the decision of the gaffer well and has responded in the right way, so he is maturing."

It is still the other end of the field that David is most concerned about, as goalkeeper, and he says: "Defending is still key. I don't feel I made a save on Wednesday night, because of the defending - though I let another goal in.

"Their goal from the free kick should have been defended better but it wasn't."

The return to the side of Tomas Repka delighted David, who explains: "Tomas has come back, and maybe not all the fans appreciate him - but he was outstanding on the night."

He says a reaction was vitally important following the 6-0 defeat at Old Trafford, and adds: "The worst thing about the Manchester United game was the lack of effort - but effort has been displayed in the majority of the last three months, in the league.

"We had to win on Wednesday, obviously because of the league position, but the fact that we gave the effort we should be showing was a reflection of the belief we have got, and to carry that through into the Liverpool game has to be done.

"It has got to be the start, but it is one step at a time, and we have to keep the momentum going against Liverpool."

Sunday's game against his old club means nothing special to David, though, who says: "It means three points, it doesn't matter that it is Liverpool.

"Liverpool are the next opponents - it is as simple as that."

David concludes by saying that team unity is as strong as ever.

"We are a team and when we lose it is not any individual's fault, it is the team losing," he insists.

"We get a victory as a team as well; we are not doing anything for anyone in particular - and that team extends to the coaching staff and the fans.

"If the fans want to boo that is our team that they are booing - and if they get behind us, they get behind us all.

"We are not in it for anyone special, we are there for West Ham United Football Club.

"It was tremendous coming off to the cheers after the Blackburn game and it has changed the season for us - the voodoo of not winning at home until so late in February is not good.

"Now we would like some more, and I expect the place to be buzzing on Sunday."