Sergei Patient

Sergei Rebrov is patiently waiting to get a run in the starting line-up and insists he is only too happy to be part of a big squad at Upton Park.

"I am always positive and happy at West Ham, which is a big club with good traditions," says Sergei.

"I see how the supporters like the club and wait for good games; I like this club very much.

"I am fine, I am being patient, and of course I want to play football - but I think it is the biggest squad in the Championship."

He thinks that strength in numbers will stand the Hammers in good stead in the months to come.

The players on the bench against Wolves, of whom he was one, know that only too well - after all, they had 222 international caps between them!

"It is important in the winter time that you have a lot of players as that gives you a better chance of winning more games because you get lots of injuries," says Sergei.

"When I played for Tottenham we had seven or eight injuries in the winter but if you have a big squad it helps."

He is happy to help carry the weight of expectancy that goes with being a West Ham player and adds:

"West Ham has been used to being a Premiership side and that is where the fans want to be immediately - we understand that.

"But in the first division the level of the teams is nearly the same and it is quite difficult to win every game.

"Of course, we want to do it but the Forest game shows you how it can all change suddenly in two minutes."

He also observes that teams raise their game against the Hammers and adds:

"It is like in the Premier League against Manchester United or Arsenal - players do even more than their best on the pitch and that is how it is in our division against West Ham or Leicester."

Sergei scored both goals, one a penalty, in the reserves' last game, a 3-2 defeat by Southampton, and he adds:

"I am glad to have scored two goals but a little bit unhappy because we lost the game in the last minute.

"You play reserve games to get confident and feel better and for me personally I feel better for having scored a couple.

"I know I am ready to play in the first team - it is the gaffer's decision, and I understand why he put me in the reserves the other day because I haven't played much.

"I think if I want to play against QPR I needed another game and it is fine."

When he came on at half time for the first team against Wolves recently, he was given something of a free role and he adds:

"I like to play like this and I feel better if I can play with freedom.

"Now I am playing midfield and it is not so important who is scoring the goals; if you play in midfield you have to think about your forwards to give them the chance to score.

"Of course it is important to score but if someone else does it is no problem."