Anton: We Can Do It

Anton Ferdinand is confident relegation can be avoided this season and insists the quality is there in the squad to do it.

"I have never doubted in my mind that we were going to go down," he says. "The critics have been saying that we were but our squad is too strong to go down and we have too many good players."

"Now they are starting to show their true colours and it looks like we are going to come out of it."

Anton played in the second half of the friendly game at Upton Park against Fulham on Friday, initially in midfield on the right and then at right back, and he says: "It was good to play against experienced Premiership players and we should have won the game with a few one on ones - but it was only a friendly so no complaints."

Anton was in the under-18 team that was knocked out of the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals by Manchester City last week, and he adds: "You want to get as far as you can in that competition because the final is on TV and everyone watches you.

"But I was disappointed we lost - we obviously weren't good enough on the day but you just have to get on with it."

Brother Rio was supporting the Hammers that night, and Anton says: "It was good for him to be there."

Anton says that his older brother has overcome the injury problems that affected him when he first went to Old Trafford from Leeds and explains: "It was the first time he'd really been injured when he went there but he is coming out of that now and playing his football."

Unlike some players that have left the club - such as a certain high profile midfielder who told a recent fans' forum that he would like to score the goal that sent West Ham down - Rio is, of course, still held in the highest regard by the West Ham fans.

The feeling, says Anton, is mutual, and he says: "It is his first club and every time he has an interview people speak about West Ham - and all he has got is good words for the fans, the club, and the players."

As for Anton himself, it is a case of waiting patiently for the big breakthrough into the first team.

Like his defensive partner Elliot Ward, big things are expected in the next 18 months or so, and Anton says: "Me and Elliot are trying to continue playing well and to give the manager a few selection problems."