Nigel's Progress Report

Nigel Reo-Coker was delighted to see Anton Ferdinand make his England U21 debut on Tuesday - and accompany him on the field midway through the second half against Ukraine.

"It was a good experience and another international cap to add to my collection so far so I was very happy," he says.

"It was a great result, there is good talent from all over, the country and I am very excited by what can be achieved.

"I was pleased for Anton; he deserves it - I know him very well, and he is a good character.

"He takes his football very seriously and works hard without getting much recognition on the international scene.

"It is good that he has finally got what he deserved, and he had a great game.

"It was long overdue; he hasn't been treated very fairly on the international scene for what he has done and how much he has achieved so far.

"Now he has had his call-up and shown people what he can do I hope he will be able to go from strength to strength and that this will be a springboard for him."

Nigel knows that Anton might play at centre half for West Ham at the weekend in the absence of Christian Dailly and adds:

"It would be nice to have the captain back but we are well enough equipped to have players cover for him - and maybe Anton deserves his chance now to play at centre back.

"If he gets the opportunity he will want to show the fans and the management that he is more than capable of handling the pressure."

As for the domestic situation, with a win, a defeat, and a draw, Nigel says:

"People are panicking - it is still very early on in the season, with only three games gone so far, and no one has got a 35 point gap in the league."

Regarding his own form, and three starts out of three in central midfield in the absence of Steve Lomas, he adds:

"I am just trying to concentrate on my own game to try and give 110% to West Ham.

"There is a bit more responsibility, but I have had the experience of captaining Wimbledon and it is a responsibility that I am more than capable of handling.

"I am enjoying it; my life has been all about pressure and responsibility and my mum, family, and friends have impressed the need on me to be responsible young man - and hopefully I can take that out onto the pitch."

As for the trip to Gresty Road, he adds:

"I think it will be a very enjoyable game; Crewe are one of my favourite footballing sides and one of the teams I most enjoy playing against in this league.

"West Ham is all about that as well so it should be a very exciting match.

"We have to show them the respect they deserve; there will be pressure there because they are a good team - if they weren't they wouldn't have stayed up in this division.

"Anything can happen in this league as we have seen - anyone can beat anyone."