Carl: Bring It On

Carl Fletcher says he is looking forward to fighting for a place in midfield with Steve Lomas getting back to full fitness soon.

Steve, who has served a two match suspension, played over an hour in the reserves on Wednesday night as he nears a comeback and Carl says:

"Competition for places is something everybody needs and it keeps them on their toes - it gets the best out of everyone and it can only bode well for the team if everyone is putting a better performance in.

"That is best for West Ham and at the end of the day that is what counts - it is not just about 11 players, it is about the 22 or so, and it is important if you want to achieve anything that everyone is pulling in the right direction.

"A win is not just achieved by the 11 players in the team, it is by everyone, including the coaching and management staff - and the fans.

"So we are doing it for everybody and the competition can only be a good thing."

Carl made his home debut against Rotherham and he adds:

"It was a banana skin because they were bottom of the league without a win - and patience was the key.

"The fans were patient as well, they kept getting behind us, and that is what we needed.

"A little bit of quality showed on the night and got us the three points; Mattie is a great player and he scored the goal with the free kick.

"He loves to take people on in the box and he is a massive player for us when he plays well because he makes those chances.

"It was a good reward for him to score after the hard work he put in, not only on Tuesday, but last Saturday."

Carl has now made his full debut and home debut in the space of three days and, on his first game at Upton Park in claret and blue, adds:

"It was a bit of a whirlwind and it flew past but it was a fantastic pitch and fantastic surroundings - it is every young boy's dream to play places like that week in, week out and I am no different.

"I am glad to have made my home debut and I am looking forward to Saturday."

Carl was impressed with the numberas that turned out on Tuesday, and says:

"It was a good crowd with Champions' League football on the telly and the fans came out to show their support which is what you need every game.

"In the two matches I have played the fans have been great so long may it continue - and I am sure we can give them something to shout about."

As for Saturday's opponents, he concludes:

"Ipswich are a good side who play football in the right way and they like to pass the ball; they have good experienced pros in their side so it will be a tough game but if we get the fans behind us again then we have the quality in the side to get all three points - if we put in a good performance.

"It is going to be tough now with a lot of Saturday/Tuesday games, so you obviously try and stay injury free and steer clear of suspensions and so forth.

"We have good strength in depth now and everyone is pushing in the same direction; it is okay, and I can't complain, but we are not resting on our laurels."