Andy: Support Swayed Me

Andy Melville has completed his permanent move from Fulham - and says that West Ham's loyal and fanatic support was a big factor in him deciding to move across London.

"The lads have made me feel welcome and I have had a few good training sessions under my belt now which have gone well and I am starting to get to know the lads a bit better."

Andy reveals that he has already been in the wars in his first week at West Ham, where he originally signed on loan, and says:

"I have had an operation since I have been here, last Friday, but that went well and I have trained all this week so it is not a problem - I am seeing the physios daily and they have just said to get on with it.

"It was a fractured cheekbone which I did in the first 10 minutes against Sheffield United - a good start! - and it was a straightforward minor operation.

"It was straight in at the deep end going to Sheffield because they are a top team, physical, and they made it difficult for us in the second half, and the dressing room was very disappointed after the game.

"They got the goal with only 30 seconds to go but hopefully we can learn from that because it has happened a few times this season, so the lads have been saying.

"Perhaps we have to be mentally stronger and hopefully I can be a big help on that side of it."

Andy is aware that the home form hasn't been as good as the away form, and he adds:

"It might have scarred the lads a little bit more than it has me but sometimes you have to weather a storm; it does happen in games when teams get on top of you but that is the time you have to dig in.

"I can't believe the home form when you look at the way the lads played at Sheffield United and Wolves and the way they have been training day in, day out.

"The ability in the squad is unbelievable, really, and I have been very impressed by everyone.

"It is a concern and every day they bang at it but, although it surprises, me hopefully from now until the end of the season we can improve it."

Andy has played at Upton Park in the Premiership with Fulham, and he says:

"I think we drew last year and won the season before so maybe my winning streak will continue for us!"

Andy will have to sit out West Ham's cup game with Fulham if they do overcome Everton in the replay and he adds:

"I am cuptied because I played against Cheltenham but the lads played brilliantly at Wolves to get a great result and obviously Fulham still have to play Everton which is a hard game for both sides.

"But it would be nice if Jon Harley could play against Fulham - and I am sure it would be a good game against a quality side.

"Fulham have done well this season and you have to play the best in the top half of the Premiership to get to the latter stages so hopefully we can do that."

As for making the move permanent, he says:

"As far as I'm concerned it is all done and dusted; I have obviously taken a step down and people say 'why?' but when I look around the surroundings it is a massive club and being sold out for Rotherham tells its own story.

"The fans are turning up so hopefully the players can produce for them."

As for his veteran status, he adds:

"Obviously when you get to that age there are always question marks over you but you just try and keep proving people wrong.

"I am as ambitious as I have ever been; I have had a taste, in the past three seasons, of being in the Premiership, and it is a great place to be - so hopefully I can help strive towards that with West Ham."

Andy feels the key to success is a good collective spirit allied to the talent he believes is there, and he adds:

"You can't play as individuals, anybody knows that; you look at Manchester United and Arsenal over the years and they have won championships because they battled as a team.

"The way we battled at Sheffield United, all desperate to win the game even if we were a bit unlucky, nedds to be taken into the coming games home and away - and if it is I don't see why we can't win more games than we lose.

"I am very excited about the future and I just thought it was time to leave Fulham; I got an injury earlier in the season and was in and out of the side.

"This chance came around and I grabbed it - and I am looking to playing in front of over 30,000 every week."

Starting against Rotherham - if selected, of course...