Nigel: Wait And See

Nigel Reo-Coker is hopeful of returning to action for the last home game of the season after a two match ban - but realises there is stiff competition for a place in the starting line-up against Watford.

Nigel copped a two match ban for reaching 10 bookings for the campaign - of which just a fifth were since coming to West Ham - and he says:

"It was very frustrating; no player likes to be left out and have to watch from the sidelines.

"Practically all my bookings were at Wimbledon and only two at West Ham so looking at it from that aspect it is hard and frustrating.

"I will be the same throughout my career, though; the passion and aggression will always be there - but the situation has been a lot easier with West Ham."

With David Connolly suspended it is likely that Marlon Harewood will move to a conventional striker's role leaving Nigel, Jobi McAnuff, and Don Hutchison all hoping for a place on the right.

"It is going to be interesting to see what the manager does; it would be unfair for me to go straight back in because you can't change a winning team and I will be okay with that situation," says Nigel.

"Obviously I wouldn't be 100% happy because I want to play football but it is part and parcel of the game and I am mature enough to handle it - that is down to the manager and what he decides is final.

"I have no idea what is going to happen and we will have to wait and see."

Nigel is surprised when told that he is looked upon by some as not dissimilar to Steve Lomas - albeit without the experience - and he says:

"That is the first time I have heard that - I have never been compared to Steve Lomas.

"But we are both aggressive players who love to play football.

"Steve Lomas is a great player and a very experienced one who has played at the highest level for a very long time.

"He has proven that he can still do it and I have got no problems with watching him, biding my time, and seeing if I can learn from him."

Speaking ahead of the Watford match, he adds:

"There are no guarantees in football - you can't write any team off in a football match, especially in today's game with the pace of it and how it has changed dramatically.

"It is a big derby and a very big game for us; we must win both games without a shadow of a doubt and hopefully we will go into the game with the same positive attitude and whoever is playing will throw out the performance to match and get us the win."

And the pressure?

"We are used to it, really," he says.