Neil: Team Mates Helped

Neil Mellor reveals the support of his colleagues at West Ham helped sustain him through what was, by his high standards, a goal 'drought'.

"Tonight it was really pleasing to score the goals but I just want to be part of the team, bringing others into play, winning challenges and improving my all-round game; I know the goals will come," he says.

"To be honest, in training, it has been coming off, it is just in the games that it hasn't; I am hitting the target but just not hitting the net - that will change.

Indeed, the two goal hero of Wednesday night's win over Palace almost feels guilty he had a go at opening his account for the season when he might have passed!

"I think I could have squared one to Conners but I will learn that for next time," he says.

He also says it is a complete lie that Jermain Defoe and David Connelly don't pass to each other - and he should know, being alongside them...

"You look at Jermain - he has put a great through ball for me and there are plenty of occasions of that between us," he says.

"We are all competitive and want to score the goals obviously but there is no truth to that, for sure.

"I think every game we have started we have won or at least drawn so it is always nice to be in a successful team, and we are up in fourth at the moment - so we are going to try and mount a challenge for the title.

"I have got a great belief in myself and never lost it; okay, I have gone through a bad run and finally ended it because I know I can score goals.

"I have also had a lot of support from the other players and the management - and they have all stood by me which is a nice confidence booster.

"I am not the sort of player that lets my head drop; I battle through it even though it is a new experience after scoring nearly every game for Liverpool reserves."

And Trevor Brooking says of Neil's game:

"I was pleased for him, especially as he was going to get a rollicking for not squaring the ball to David - so he got himself out of trouble.

"Jermain and David get quite a lot of the headlines but we often play with a three, and psychologically it was good for him; it is important because Jermain is suspended for the next two, so Neil can go into those on the up.

"It was important for him to get off the mark and he's got an opportunity now to add a few more to the list - strikers like to see a few goals to their name."