Matt: I Can Take It

Matthew Etherington feels that he is coping with the pressure of being a 'marked man' after his excellent season last time around.

"I think I have learnt to deal with that over the last few games and that my form is getting better and better with a couple of goals and assists as well - things are going the right way," he says.

"If I am marked heavily it creates more space for the rest of the team so it can only be beneficial for the rest of the lads."

Can he rise to Alan Pardew's challenge of becoming Hammer of the year twice running?

"It is hard to say; I just have to make sure my form is all right and keep going," he says.

"But my form is getting better and better as the season goes on so we will wait and see.

"Everyone's form is important, as is mine, but if I do my job I will be happy."

Has confidence been dented by getting just one point in two games after a winning streak?

"I don't think so; we have played quite well and passed it well, and deserved at least three points - Derby never looked like scoring," he says.

"We look solid as a team now and we are knocking it around so it bodes well.

"Now we are playing well and not picking up as many points as we should so hopefully that we will put that right tomorrow.

"It has been frustrating but we are still there or thereabouts and the main thing is we need to win against Wolves.

"We should have got three points against Forest and we were unlucky not to get three points on Wednesday night.

"If we had got six points there we wouldn't be too worried now."

Looking at the Wolves game, he adds:

"They haven't got off to the best start and they are seven points behind us at the moment so they won't want to get too far behind us - but it will be 10 if we beat them tomorrow.

"It is a big game for them, as it is for us, and I am sure there will be a large crowd there - it will be an exciting game."