Rob: Time Is Ticking

Rob Lee is philosophical about the fact he may have played his last game for his beloved Hammers - but still hopes to have a swansong in claret and blue.

"It would be nice; I have always said I wanted to play for West Ham," says Rob, signed on a free transfer in the summer.

"I started off playing all the games, which I really enjoyed, though unfortunately things didn't really turn out the way I would have liked them to - but that is football."

He missed a not inconsiderable chunk of the winter with a knee problem after an operation, and he adds:

"The knee has been fine recently though I have had a bit of an ache in the last week or so.

"I have had an injection and it is settling down a little bit."

The chances of him facing his old club Derby on Saturday, however, are slim, and Rob adds:

"It doesn't look like I will be available for Easter, although you are always hopeful.

"I had a little setback with my knee last week but I will be training the end of this one or the begining of next week.

"I keep training and doing my bit and, if needed, I will be there.

"The season seems to have flown by, really, with the games I have missed."

Prior to his recent niggle, Rob has been fit following lengthy rehabilitation, but he is sanguine about the fact that he was not being picked for first team duties in that time.

"I have got no problem at all with the manager, we get on very well," says Rob, a former Charlton team mate of Alan Pardew.

"He has brought his own players in to the team he wants to have, and I am always available if he wants me - but at the moment that is not the case."

As for West Ham's promotion chances, he adds:

"I am still hopeful we will make the play-offs and I think it is the least we expect to do with the team and players we have got; anything less than that would be a failure, in my opinion."

Has he made a decision about his future?

"No, not at the moment; I am just concentrating on being fit and on what West Ham are doing and I will decide in the summer," he says.

Regarding West Ham's run of three away defeats on the trot, following an excellent unbeaten sequence on the road, he explains:

"There are a lot of youngsters in the side and they will always play some good games and some bad ones.

"That is the way youngsters are, and you can't expect them to play well every single game - that is just how football is.

"But I think we have enough to get into the play-offs."

And, if West Ham make them, Rob will be there as player AND supporter...