Anton On Chelsea

Anton Ferdinand reveals that he battled illness to play against Chelsea on Wednesday - which is just as well, considering that he and Tomas Repka were the only available senior centre halves!

"I wasn't feeling very well and didn't sleep on the Monday; I was waking up in the night," says Anton.

"I came into training on Tuesday but I wasn't feeling good; I went to the physio room, they sent me to the doctor, and then I was sent home.

"Because the weather is changing I was cold, even with the heating on - and a few jumpers.

"I said to the gaffer 'there is no way I am missing this game' and after resting up I was all right.

"Luckily enough I was all right to go out there and it was a learning curve playing at Chelsea - which I think I dealt with."

Looking at the game overall, he says:

"I thought we gave them just as good as they gave us; they kept the ball but we knew what our game plan was and we stuck to it.

"We showed full commitment and I hope we did everyone proud.

"I thought we had just as many chances as they had, if not better ones, but the thing is they finished one and we didn't."

Anton so nearly did, though, in the dying minutes of the game.

"Rufus played a quality ball in and I just got a glancing header on it; I thought it was going in but it hit the bar," he reflects.

"I was gutted that it didn't go in and although I got a whack and was on the floor I was ready to go and celebrate with the West Ham fans."

Indeed, Anton is full of praise for the support the Hammers faithful gave to the team, and he reckons they have a good reputation throughout the country.

"Our supporters are quality and they always have been," he says.

"A lot of players in other teams, when you talk to them, say 'your fans are unbelievable'.

"They are behind you 110% - and that is what keeps us going."

Anton faced former team mates Joe Cole and Frank Lampard, who had a penalty saved, and he says:

"I gave Frank a bit of friendly banter afterwards about it - nothing harsh, just a bit of fun.

"As for Joe, I didn't speak to him before the game and on the pitch we weren't friends because you have a job to do - that's the way you have to look at it."

Anton also reserves a special mention for James Walker, who denied Joe with some superb stops at Stamford Bridge, and he says:

"He pulled off some great saves and he might have done enough to stay in the team."