Les: I Play On

Les Ferdinand say he wants to play on next season - preferably with the Hammers.

'Sir' Les, who signed a short term contract when he escaped White Hart Lane in January to join West Ham, grabbed his second goal in a West Ham shirt on Sunday when he opened the scoring in the 2-2 draw.

He wants more, though, and he reveals:

"I am not going to end like that, there is no way I am going to end my career going out with relegation.

"I said I was going to think it over in the summer but I have made my mind up now to play again next season."

And with West Ham specifically?

"It all depends on if they offer me something - I would definitely like to stay, but we will have to wait and see.

"I am disappointed and down in the dumps and I am sure the players will be during the summer but we will all have a good chat and see what is going on."

Of the dramatic last day, he adds:

"The team gave their all but unfortunately we left just too much for ourselves.

"The pleasure of scoring doesn't really matter and it hasn't had any bearing really.

"You hear the crowd singing and you realise the worst when they did that twice, and then Middlesbrough got back into the game - but we needed to win."

One game amongst Hammers' fans of late has been producing, as it were, 'Identikit' articles on what will happen if West Ham, as has now happened, were to go down.

The stock phrase about having to sell players naturally crops up at the top - hardly a revelation - but Les is hoping that there will not be wholesale changes.

With nine players out of contract this summer, the wage bill will be reduced anyway through natural wastage, and Les is hoping the nucleus of the side remains - preferably with him in it.

"We want to stick together; now we have gone down together we want to get this club back up into the Premier League together, and the more we can stay as a unit the better chance it will give West Ham."