Dj: Joe Just Gets Better

David James feels that a combination of the captaincy and his involvement with England has raised Joe Cole's game to an even greater level.

A gritty as well as skilful performance from Joe on Saturday helped inspire the Hammers to a second home win of the season against Spurs, and David says: "That was his first time as captain for a little while and it was a top drawer performance.

"But there was quality throughout the side. As well as Joe playing a blinder, Les did the business - he was fantastic for us and has instilled a winning attitude into all of us, which I think had been missing midway through the season.

"There is something about the captain's armband for Joe and when he was captain before Paolo this season he had an awesome little run.

"Personally I think being involved with the England squad has had an influence - the England midfield is pretty good and as a young lad going in amongst them you learn from that.

"You pick up on doing the right things at the right time and with the responsibility of being captain as well it helps.

"I think people might have raised a few eyebrows when it was first given but he has shone with it and put it to great effect on Saturday."

Not that David was implying that Paolo Di Canio's absence wasn't missed, however, and he adds: "I'm not saying that. Fortunately we have got the players in the squad and we showed what people have been expecting - that a West Ham side that plays right can win games.

"Unfortunately Paolo wasn't there and unfortunately Fredi wasn't there but where we have been licking our wounds in previous games at home we showed great spirit on Saturday."

David was relieved to keep a clean sheet after West Ham's longest run since becoming a Premiership side without one.

Having conceded in 18 league matches prior to Saturday - six games longer than previously in the Premiership - the 'Tottenham nil' made a welcome statistic.

"It was the first one in about 22 games and I didn't have much to do which was nice," says David.

"We have conceded silly goals from silly situations and ultimately the only way to put things right is in training - and we started to reap the rewards of that.

"Our win at West Brom was scrappy but this was a really good win, arguably our best performance of the season."

As for Tomas Repka's contribution to that shut-out, David concludes: "He did very, very well, as he has done for the last few games, so I am not surprised by that."