Neil: Goals Will Come

Neil Mellor insists he is staying focused despite the disappointment of not having scored for West Ham since coming on loan from Liverpool for the season.

"I am not far away from the first goal and other parts of my game aren't too bad but when one goes in I can see a few go in for me, to be honest," says Neil, who played in the first half on Sunday against Millwall.

"This is the worst I have ever had in my short career throughout. I never went more than two games at the most at youth team level and it has taken a while to get used to it down here - but that is no excuse, and I should be slotting them away.

"I am staying focused, and the main thing is that although I am not scoring the team is doing well; it is not as if we aren't.

"It is a learning experience this year, a learning curve albeit that I am not scoring - but hopefully I can come good before Christmas, that is for sure."

Neil is almost certain to start against Norwich when David Connolly and Jermain Defoe are suspended - and he is likely to make it two starts in a row when the Hammers face Burnley after that and Jermain is still suspended.

In those games, he is likely to be in a conventional two-man attack, but says he is quite comfortable playing in a three pronged forward assault as he did on Sunday.

"It is difficult with three up front because you can't make your usual forward runs as someone might be in your place when there is three of you.

"But it is exciting and there are more chances created that way, that's for sure."

As for the Millwall game overall, he says: "Derby games are always tight affairs and it could have gone either way, though if we had taken a chance at 1-0 to make it two I really wouldn't have seen them coming back from that.

"It always gave them the chance to win and they were probably unlucky that they didn't in the second half.

"We had a couple of good opportunities again but just didn't have that bit of luck.

"I think my best chance was when I had it on the right wing and cut inside but it was a weak left foot shot which the keeper saved easily - if I had been a bit more clinical then I would have scored easily.

"I am doing my bit for the team and I hope I was a bit of a handful for them; at 1-0 at half time we were quite happy, really."

As for the overall situation, he is not too downhearted, and he concludes: "We are still in the play-off positions and this is a week that we wanted at least seven points from.

"We have only got a point but hopefully we can beat Palace and then Derby at the weekend."